Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An encounter in Lake Michigan

News of freaque waves in the Great Lakes has not been very frequent in the Google News. But there is one reported yesterday by WWMT, NewsChannel3:
NEAR TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Tuesday saw a massive Coast Guard rescue in Lake Michigan.

Dozens of people were rescued by helicopter on Tuesday after their tour boat was damaged by a wave Monday night.

This happened by Sleeping Bear Dunes near Traverse City.

Officials say a rogue wave crashed over the boat's bow, smashed a window and fried the boat's electronics.

More than 60 people were on board the tour boat at the time.

Two people were airlifted with shoulder injuries, everyone else is expected to be okay.
The above photo of the involved 60 ft tour boat "Pictured Rocks" was taken from another news item in by Zane McMillin of the Grand Rapids Press. Here's the Associated Press report:

Authorities say dozens of people waded to shore and two were rescued by helicopter from a tour boat that was damaged by a wave in Lake Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

No major injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard says the operator of the tour boat Pictured Rocks called for help Monday evening after a wave reportedly went over the boat's bow, smashing a window and causing the boat's electronics to malfunction. The boat had 61 people aboard.

The boat's operator told the Coast Guard he grounded the boat near the shore in Empire in part to prevent further damage.

All but two of the passengers waded to shore. The Coast Guard says two with apparent shoulder injuries were lifted from the boat by helicopter.

So it's basically a minor incidence that called fore Coast Guard support. Probably other similiar minor occurrences that did not request Coast Guard help may have just been skipped the reporters' attention. Anyway it was unquestionably a case of freaque wave encounter. Fortunately there have not been a whole lot of this kind of reports in the Great Lakes area. Count our blessings!

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