Man missing after going overboard off freighter in Lake Michigan

Posted at 5:36 PM, Aug 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-23 17:36:11-04

MASON COUNTY, Mich. — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a man who went overboard off a freighter in Lake Michigan early Sunday morning near Ludington. The crew of the Stewart J. Cort reported the man had gone missing shortly before 2 a.m., said Ensign Tom Morrell, public information officer for the Coast Guard.

The boat was traveling north on Lake Michigan.

Morrell said the man was not wearing a life jacket when he reportedly jumped overboard from the freighter near Big Sable Point. Crew members witnessed the man climb over the rail and jump, according to Morrell.

Citing high winds and rough water conditions coupled with the diminishing likelihood of finding the man alive, the search has been suspended by the Coast Guard. But Morrell said other vessels are continuing to search.

In a statement posted to the Interlake Steamship Company’s Facebook page, which owns the 1,000-foot vessel, the company said crew members who were nearby at the time of the incident responded quickly and appropriately. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the crew member, his family and the officers and crew of the Stewart J Cort,” the post reads. “We thank everyone for their support through this difficult time.”

Several other nearby commercial vessels aided in the search. The man’s name is not being released.