4 stranded kayakers rescued near Grosse Ile on Detroit River
The Coast Guard rescued three adults and one child from a small island south of Grosse Ile Township on Friday night.
According to a release issued on Saturday by the U.S. Coast Guard, watch standers in Detroit command center received a call from 911 at 6:30 p.m. that four kayakers were stranded on an island in the mouth of the Detroit River and were not able to get back to their launch point at Lake Erie Metropark.
The command center launched a rescue crew from their Belle Isle station and an air crew from the air station in Detroit.
Those stranded on the island included a husband, wife, a 5-year-old girl, and a family friend. The husband indicated they had a survival kit with an SOS light that he would flash once the Coast Guard was on scene. They also provided a "pin drop" on Google Maps to the Belle Isle station that provided an accurate location and lit a bonfire to stay warm and to draw attention to their exact location. The group had been stranded since 3 p.m.
When the rescue crew arrived at 7 p.m., it was determined the water around the island was too shallow for the rescue boat, according the release.
At 7:15 p.m., the air crew arrived on scene. . All four people were then hoisted into the helicopter and taken to Gross Ile Municipal Airport. Everyone, including the girl who was suffering from mild hypothermia, was treated by EMS and released.
The Coast Guard issued a warning about the dangers of kayaking in cold weather and on cold water.
“While the individuals in this case were fortunate and were prepared with a survival kit and cell phones, kayaking in this environment can be extremely dangerous," said Lt. j.g. Justin Bommer, public affairs officer for Sector Detroit. “The air temperature was around 40 degrees and the water temperature about 34 degrees. Hypothermia can set in quickly, especially in small children.”