8-year-old Ann Arbor boy dies after canoe overturns in Lake Michigan
Photo by Karl Ericson
An 8-year-old Ann Arbor boy died from hypothermia after the canoe he was in with his father overturned on Lake Michigan near Leelanau County in northern Michigan, officials confirmed Tuesday.
The child and his 48-year-old father, also of Ann Arbor, were on a return trip from North Manitou Island to the mainland Monday evening when the canoe tipped over.
Leelenau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said the boy and his father were found in water that was about 55 degrees. Boats from the U.S. Coast Guard, sheriff’s office and Glen Lake Fire Department were used in the search, Borkovich said.
It’s the first fatal accident in the Leelenau Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction this year, Borkovich said.
“I’m just crushed,” Borkovich said.
He said sheriff’s office officials are not releasing the name of the boy and his father Tuesday. One of the boy’s siblings is camping and officials want to make sure that child hears the news from his family. Other family members have yet to be notified as well.
Authorities were dispatched to an area of the lake near Sleeping Bear Point at 8:29 p.m., according to the Leelanau County Sheriff's Office daily patrol log.
A search effort began as darkness fell, according to the sheriff's log. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located the overturned canoe about a half-mile offshore and airlifted the boy to Munson Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead from hypothermia, Borkovich said.
The boy's father was also suffering from hypothermia. He was taken to the hospital via ambulance, according to the log. Borkovich said Tuesday the man was treated and released.
The two had canoed D.H. Day Campgrounds to North Manitou Island, where they spent about an hour and a half before attempting the return trip. The father used a cell phone to contact the campground to inform them where they were in the water, according to the log.
Borkovich said the investigation into the incident is on-going.
“There were no drugs or alcohol involved,” he said. “It’s just an accident, an act of God almost.”
Crime reporter Kyle Feldscher contributed to this report.