lake superior

FILE - A view of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. (Photo: Marisa Fusinski/WWJ)

Dozens Of Stranded Tourists Rescued From Small Island In Lake Superior

July 25, 2018 - 5:20 pm

MARQUETTE (WWJ) - Authorities rescued a few dozen people from a small island in the Upper Peninsula, after weather kicked up big waves in Lake Superior.

According to Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt, 37 tourists found themselves stranded on the south side of Little Presque Isle, about five miles north of Marquette, Tuesday evening. 

The group -- including adults, teens, a few children and a dog -- had walked over from the mainland, the sheriff explained. 

"There is kind of a shallow sandbar that you're able to walk it," he told WWJ Newsradio 950's Zahra Huber. "But what happened is the wind changed and it started really blowing, (causing) maybe three to five-foot waves."

Zyburt said the group called out for help, people on shore heard them, dialed 911, and authorities who launched a rescue boat.

The sheriff said in Lake Superior, Mother Nature can change the situation in minutes; and this was not the first time something like this has happened. 

'"Not only Little Presque Isle, but different locations and even in Marquette there is quite an undertow," he said. "Now, in probably ten years, we've lost probably seven or eight people because of the undertow."

Zyburt offered this advice to visitors to the UP, and really anywhere:

"When you're traveling you have to be aware of your surroundings and what's going on," he said. "Read the signage and talk to some of the locals about, you know, where to go and what to watch out for."

This time, thankfully, no one was hurt.