Sheriff Chuck Vondra reports that from May 25, 2019 until Aug. 12, his Marine Division has seen an increase in high priority incidences.
During this time, the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office’s Marine Division has responded to 13 major water situations where lives were in danger.
There has been two (2) drownings, eight (8) water rescues with multiple people in the water, and three (3) sinking boats with multiple occupants onboard.
Our quick responses, along with assistance from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the United States Coast Guard, has led to saving numerous lives this summer.
The two (2) drownings were tragic and all efforts to save them were exhausted.
Sheriff Vondra reports there are three main contributing factors to this increase in high priority calls.
The most serious being the absence of a personal floatation device (aka PFD/life jacket).
The majority of people in the water were not wearing a PFD and were moments away from turning tragic.
Another big factor in these circumstances is location and knowing where you’re going out on the water.
The last factor, but equally as important, is approximately 25% of our encounters with citizens result in producing a boater’s safety certificate.
Which means the majority of people haven’t taken the required course and may not know the proper rules, regulations, and laws pertaining to operating a personal watercraft.
Sheriff Vondra wants the citizens and visitors of Charlevoix County to be safe out on the water.
Please remember to follow all marine laws and wear your PFD.