Traverse City News and Events

18-Year-Old Drowns After Canoe Overturns In West Bay

June 13, 2017

An 18-year-old man drowned Sunday after his canoe overturned in West Grand Traverse Bay in Elmwood Township.

The Leelanau County Sheriff's Office and Michigan State Police responded to a 911 call of a possible drowning at 7:22pm across from 12068 South West Bay Shore Drive. According to witnesses, a 17-year-old male and the 18-year-old victim were out in a canoe together a distance offshore when the vessel tipped over. The 17-year-old was helped to shore by a witness, but the 18-year-old disappeared underwater and was not seen again.

The Leelanau County Sheriff's Office Marine Division assisted with recovering the victim's body from the water. Multiple agencies assisted in responding to the case, including Elmwood Township Fire and Rescue, Grand Traverse County Marine Patrol, Grand Traverse Regional Dive Team, Traverse City Fire Department, North Flight EMS and the Coast Guard.

At least four other people died over the weekend in drowning incidents in Michigan. A 27-year-old Lansing man died in Lake Michigan at Holland State Park, a 24-year-old Saline woman died at Clear Lake in St. Joseph County, a 61-year-old man drowned in Belleville Lake in Wayne County, and a 52-year-old died at Lake Margrethe in Crawford County. Officials warned that a combination of high temperatures - which make lakes appealing for swimming, though waters remain deceptively cold this early in the season - and high winds that created waves and rip currents this weekend made bodies including Lake Michigan a high risk for swimmers.

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