About 11 p.m. on Tuesday evening, May 3rd, the Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie received a distress call from the 26 foot vessel "Little Blue" just off the south end of Beaver Island.
Coast Guard officer Lt. j.g. Gabe Somma siad that the helicopter crew had been on a training mission late Tuesday and had been in radio contact with the same boat about 10:00 p.m. when the men aboard her reported aht all was well and they were just checking their radio.
It shows how quickly trouble can happen as less than two hours later they were in disress having run aground only 500 yards from shore. Somma noted that it would have been extremely dangerous for the men to try to wade to shore considering the unknown water depth, darkness, the water temperature being in the low 40's and the air temperature being only in the upper 20's. It would not have taken long for hyporthermia to set in.
The Coast Guard HH-65 rescue helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer and shortly Robert Starbuck, 51 and Troy People, 33 along with their nine-month-old yellow lab puppy were being transported to the Charlevoix Area Hospital where they would be treated for possible typothermia.
Although everyone is happy that spring has arrived, boaters must keep in mind and use extra caution during this time of year when the air temperature is still low and the very cold water temperatures can drastically reduce survival time to minutes. If you are going to be out on the water please let folks know, wear (not just carry) life jackets and warm hats since most of the body heat is lost through the head.
If you are interested in a video of this rescue, please contact the Traverse City Public Affairs Officer Somma at 231.922.8273.
Ahhh, remembering old songs, dancing to favorite tunes, hula hoops, the Twist, the Stroll. All those fun parts of the 50's and 60's came together under Joe Nagraba's excellent charge. The Ladies AMVET's Auxiliary again did a marvelous job of bringing Joe and his music back to the island for another sock hop. Although not as many folks were in attendance this year, those who were there had a blast from the past.
It's highly likely that the brother and sister team of Tina Morgan and Tom Whitman wore out at least one pair of shoes since they danced to every single tune. It's really too bad that can't work up much enthusiasm for this annual event. Those light footed souls, Madonna McCafferty and Bud Martin danced away with the top prizes for best on their toes. The costume department at Martin's was fairly quiet this year for some reason because Colleen was busy at other chores however folks managed to scrounge up appropriate wear. The "Pink Ladies" (Diane McDonough, Karen Wojan, Colleen Martin and Sandy LoDico) "twisted" away with Best Group costume. Phil "the Nerd" Becker received best male costume and "jerked" back to his seat while Donna Kubic "strolled" off with best female costume of the night. Marie LaFreniere deserves honorable mention for her classy outfit certainly fit to "shimmy" in... my, doesn't see look like her grandma, Mary Bert? Ol' Mr. Swivel himself, Tom Whitman, won the hula hoop contest. The 50/50 raffle was won by Alexis Latimer, grand daughter of Bob and Sandy. She received $415.00!!
It was a grand evening and those there truly enjoyed themselves. Thanks go to the Auxiliary and to Joe and Deb Nagraba for putting together another fun Beaver Island party. We hope that sometime they'll decided to do this 50/60 theme in the summer months so that more folks can enjoy the fun.