Update: One Dead in Lake Superior Water Emergency
Two men rescued, all three were employees of Roen Salvage of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
DULUTH, Minn. – One person is dead and two others are lucky to be alive after their boat capsized into the frigid waters of Lake Superior at the end of Park Point during Monday’s Red Flag warning.
According to St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips, the men were believed to be working in the harbor as part of a dredging project.
68-year-old Donald Sarter of Sturgeon Bay lost his life.
Two other passengers walked away with no apparent injuries: 59-year-old Donald Slater of Sault Ste. Marie and 50-year-old Randall Corsten of New Franken.
The call for help came in around 11 am, north of the Wisconsin entry.
High waves came over the stern of the 21-foot aluminum hulled boat at one point, cutting off the engine, sending the boat sideways and eventually under water.
The two passengers got to shore uninjured, but Sarter would disappear in the water before washing ashore off the end of Park Point, near Sky Harbor Airport. He was recovered by Duluth Firefighters.
“One of our crews was actually on the trail walking that way, made contact with the individual who had washed up ashore and then they began life saving measures at that point,” said Asst. Fire Chief Clint Reff.
Despite life-saving efforts, Sarter was pronounced dead at the scene.
Undersheriff Phillips said the water temperature at the time was dangerously cold around 45 degrees, especially after being churned up by the strong waves.
One of the men involved told authorities they were all wearing life jackets at the time of the incident, but they were not zipped together in the front.
The boat is owned by a company called Roen Savage of Sturgeon Bay, where the men are employed.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office is investigating, they will coordinate with the company to pull the sunken boat to shore.