FRUITLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon County emergency crews spent Wednesday searching for a man who went missing after he fell out of a fishing boat on Lake Michigan.
Witnesses standing on a bluff overlooking the lake at Michillinda Lodge in Fruitland Township, southwest of Whitehall, called authorities around 11:20 a.m. after they heard a man yelling for help.
Authorities say it appears the man fell off his aluminum fishing boat around 300-yards offshore. The boat was self-propelled and took off after he fell into the water.
White Lake Fire Authority Chief Gregory Holman, who was the first to arrive on scene, jumped into the lake and swam out as far as he could. He told 24 Hour News 8 he didn’t make it very far due to the cold water temperatures.
When Holman got back on shore, he said he could no longer see the fisherman. He couldn’t tell if the man was wearing a life jacket or life preserver.
Rescue crews found a fishing hat and net in the area near where he fell in.
It’s unclear how the man fell out of the fishing boat because conditions on Lake Michigan were calm Wednesday.
Several watercraft were on scene, including a boat from the U.S. Coast Guard. Two Coast Guard helicopters also aided in the effort.
The search will continue Thursday.
The fisherman has not yet been identified. Authorities say they have not received any missing persons reports.