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UPDATE: Wisconsin man rescued in Keweenaw County

On Monday afternoon Keweenaw County Sheriff deputies responded to a call about a man floating near High Rock Point near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The call was made by a couple who were kayaking in the area when they noticed the subject floating in the water off shore. The 35 year-old male had been missing from the state of Wisconsin since August 3rd. His vehicle was found the next day at Hebard Park west of Copper Harbor. The man had gone out swimming at the park when a strong current pulled him approximately 15 miles to the Gull Rock Lighthouse. He spent the day on the island before attempting to swim back to the Keweenaw Peninsula. First Responders from Copper Harbor were able to transport the subject to Horseshoe Harbor before he was airlifted to UP Health Systems Marquette for treatment. The case is still under investigation.


An extraordinary incident is helping highlight the need for a search and rescue team in remote Keweenaw County. A press release is not out yet, so Keweenaw Report is unable to give a full account of all that happened earlier this week.

Sheriff Curt Pennala provides some initial details.

What we found out is that he had floated out on the water for four or five days and landed out at Gull Rock Lighthouse. He had floated into High Rock from there. He was in pretty rough medical shape, so we asked the first responders out of Copper Harbor, as well as our deputies went out and we were able to transport him into an ambulance.

The man had been missing from Wisconsin since August 3rd and his vehicle was found the next day at Hebard Park, near the Devil’s Washtub west of Copper Harbor. Pennala says he has been airlifted to an out-of-area hospital after being treated locally. Copper Harbor Fire Department was also involved.

The proposed search team would be responsible for covering land and water. Pennala says it takes pressure off of Coast Guard resources, which are not always available.

Typically the call comes into us, and then we reach out to the Coast Guard. It is hit or miss whether they will have they’re able to have a boat respond.

More information about the rescue will be provided as soon as possible.

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