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Michigan conservation officer rescues 2 men near Drummond Island

Conservation Officer Todd Sumbera has been with the DNR Law Enforcement Division since July 2018 and is assigned to Mackinac County.
Conservation Officer Todd Sumbera has been with the DNR Law Enforcement Division since July 2018 and is assigned to Mackinac County.((source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources))
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:18 AM EDT
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CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A Michigan conservation officer was in the right place at the right time to save two Chicago residents clinging to an overturned personal watercraft off Drummond Island.

Around 1:45 p.m. Friday, the officer was on routine patrol in Lake Huron on the north side of the island when he spotted two men clinging to the personal watercraft in rough water. As he approached, a 41-year-old man who doesn’t know how to swim was panicked and exhausted.

He and a 64-year-old man were wearing torn life jackets and had been in the water for about 10 minutes before the officer found them. The officer helped both men get on board his boat and towed the waterlogged personal watercraft back to the Drummond Island Yacht Haven.

“This is an example of how wearing a life jacket can save a life,” said Chief Gary Hagler of the DNR Law Enforcement Division.

Both men were OK after the incident. The 64-year-old told the DNR officer that the men had never operated a personal watercraft before. High winds and rough water “swamped them extremely fast” when they put it in reverse, according to the DNR.

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