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First responders find lost kayaker on Pere Marquette River

Posted at 9:36 AM, Aug 31, 2021

SCOTVILLE, Mich. — A lost kayaker was found safe after a rescue effort Monday night on the Pere Marquette River.

Troppers from the Michigan State Police Hart Post were first to respond after local first responders were dispatched about 8:20 p.m., and immediately began conducting an on-scene investigation, according to a news release Tuesday.

They discovered that a 36-year-old Scottville man, along with a 30-year-old Scottville woman, had been dropped off at the Custer Road bridge around 1 p.m. by a family member.

The two, who were siblings, kayaked down the river and exited in Scottville near Henry’s Landing Campground & Canoe Rental.

While on the riverbank, the siblings told family members they would be continuing their journey toward the Twin Bridges on Pere Marquette Highway.

Soon after 8 p.m., the man arrived at Twin Bridges and told family members he did not know where his sister was, saying he last saw her somewhere between Scottville and Twin Bridges.

Family members called 911 because of concerns that the kayakers had special needs and because darkness was quickly approaching.

Scottville’s police and fire departments responded to the Pere Marquette River access site.

The owner of Henry’s Landing Campground & Canoe Rental – who is also a Scottville Fire Department first responder – Josh Henry, got on a personal river boat and began patrolling downstream of the river.

Riverton Fire Department and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office’s marine deputies also responded and began patrolling the river upstream toward Scottville.

The Ludington Fire Department boarded their motorboat to patrol the mouth of the river, while the Pere Marquette Fire Department, the Mason County Emergency Manager and MSP troopers continued to monitor search efforts and communicate with the United State Coast Guard aviation.

Deputies found the lost kayaker on the riverbank at the Pere Marquette River overpass on US-31 Freeway.

Life EMS responded to the freeway and helped the deputy get the woman out of the river.

She was checked out by advanced medical personnel and released from the scene.

Troopers want to remind anyone recreating on Michigan’s waterways to let someone know where they are going, their route and when they expect to return.

In addition, monitor the weather and dress appropriately, wear bright clothes, carry plenty of water and food, carry a cell phone or radio for emergency communication, carry a first aid kit and know how to use it, carry a flashlight and wear a life jacket.