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Kayaker capsized, hospitalized with hypothermia

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 01:08:32-04

LUDINGTON, Mich. — A Coopersville man had to be rescued Thursday when his kayak capsized, dumping him into 42-degree waters near the mouth of the Pere Marquette River.

The Mason County Sheriff's Deputies and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer took a DNR patrol boat nearly 150 yards off shore to find the man.

The 28-year-old was fishing on the river and using a trolling motor and battery to push the boat when a wave caused it to flip over. He had been hanging on for nearly 10 minutes without a life jacket and seemed to be having trouble staying above water when police arrived.

“Conservation officers are equipped to be successful in rescues like this because of their skills, training and quality equipment that is readily available to them,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Publiski was prepared to assist with this incident because he had prepped his DNR patrol boat earlier in the season, which allowed him to quickly respond to the emergency call. If you choose to go out on the water, please be aware of, and prepared for, the water conditions and always wear your life jacket.”

The man was hospitalized with the early signs of hypothermia.