Lake Erie to Michigan trip interrupted when canoes tip

Rescue crews recover canoes from the Grand River in Grand Rapids after they tipped, dumping three men in the river. (June 28, 2015)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Rescuers were called to the Grand River in Grand Rapids on Sunday when a trio of canoes tipped, putting a halt to an incredible journey.

The group of three men was attempting to canoe from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan before running into trouble in the river through downtown Grand Rapids. Just before noon, their boats tipped over while crossing the dam just north of the pedestrian bridge.

The three were all wearing life jackets. By the time rescue crews arrived, they had managed to swim safely to shore. None were injured.

Crews were able to recover the vessels.

The three estimated they traveled some 300 miles before their journey came to a pause.

The three men whose canoes tipped in the Grand River as they tried to canoe from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan. (June 28, 2015)
(The three men who were dumped into the rivers when the canoes tipped.)

“We were going to come up through the (River) Raisin down in Lake Erie and go all the way to Lake Michigan, because historically that route had been able to be traveled through flood waters like 200 years ago or so, and no one has done it in a long time,” said canoer Josh Parks. “Me and my friend here were raised in Brooklyn, right by MIS (Michigan International Speedway), And so, we were like, “OK, we could get there.’ Small portage over to the Grand and we could essentially do this historical trade route and cover all kinds of new stuff in our own backyard, basically. Really open up some chances to explore in the local area.”

The trio had allowed four weeks for their trip and planned to celebrate in Grand Haven when they reached Lake Michigan.

They will have to evaluate their remaining resources before deciding whether or not to continue.

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