15 year old hero's donated surf board stolen, but new one arrives

MARQUETTE — It’s a story that’s taken several interesting turns since we first reported on it. It started last month when 15-year-old Julia Bathish heroically rescued a boy from drowning in Lake Superior.

It caught the eye of one of the Upper Peninsula’s most notorious surfers, ‘Surfer Dan’ they call him. Surfer Dan, otherwise known as Dan Schetter, wanted to reward Julia’s heroism with a generous act of kindness. He wanted to donate to her a surf board.

There were some obstacles. Although Schetter had an extra brand new board to give away, Julia’s family was visiting from downstate and had left the area by the time we could help Schetter track her down. We successfully planned to get a board to Julia’s home, helped the two exchange addresses, offered transit money and a board was to going to be shipped.

Not so fast.


Shipping surf boards isn’t easy. It was decided it would be better if the board was first entrusted to some traveling surfers. Surfer Dan’s friends were on their way down through lower Michigan, and would drop off the board to Julia’s home, taking a role in the gift giving. But, as it’s told, complications arose, and instead of giving the board to Julia, Dan says they never arrived to her house. Apparently, someone took off with the board. The donated surf board was allegedly stolen. We can’t confirm the theft, but we can confirm Julia’s board was missing.

Surfer Dan was broken hearted.

An act of kindness he didn’t want publicized would’ve been all for nothing, a stunt, if, somehow a board didn’t get to Julia. Schetter pooled all his resources together, made some calls, and the good folks at Sleeping Bear Surf and Kayak provided a board at a third of the cost. Dan caught up with Julia when she again recently visited the Upper Peninsula, and presented to her a new board in person.

Privately, the Bathish family met with Surfer Dan, and finally, the story concludes, Julia has the board! Julia is now learning to surf and has already caught some waves.


MARQUETTE — After yesterday’s daring rescue at Black Rocks in Marquette, where 15-year-old Julia Bathish rescued a boy from a near-drowning in Lake Superior, the story caught the eye of the Upper Peninsula’s most notorious surf enthusiast, Dan Schetter.

Schetter believes no good deed should go unnoticed, and wanted to gift to Julia a surf board.

“It’s not a publicity stunt or anything, I just think she should receive a token of Yoopereciation,” Schetter told ABC 10.

A few logistical problems arose. The Bathish family was vacationing in the U.P., and departed from the area early this morning. We couldn’t film the gift-giving, but we were able to connect the two, exchange addresses, help with shipping costs, and the new surf board is on the way.

Schetter describes it as a “brand new softop, wave hogging secret weapon.” He says it’s his only one left. “She deserves waves, and the theme of The Great Lakes Surf Club is safety and keeping beach clean.” That’s why the hoodie, also included in the gift, looks similar to lifeguard jacket.

What would Julia Bathish do with a surf board, right?

As it turns out, Julia is very excited for the generous gift. After some apprehension about accepting such a great gift, we were able to convince Julia she deserved it. Julia told us, “I’m actually a windsurfer and I’ve been meaning to head out to Lake Michigan and learn to surf. That is an amazing and generous gift.”

The board ships to Julia’s downstate home tomorrow. Send us pictures when it arrives!

Thank you, Dan. Thank you, Julia!