MARQUETTE - Four men are safe following a Sunday boating accident which left them in distress in the water of Lake Michigamme.
The Marquette Count Sheriff's Office responded at approximately 3 p.m. to the scene. The accident occurred near Brown's Bay, located near the center of the lake on the north shore.
Alexander Smith, 48, of Michigamme; Donald Smith, 45, of Lapeer, Mich.; David Koller, 58, of Macomb, Mich.; and Alexander Smith, 58, of Ray, Mich. were rescued from the water by a resident of the lake.
One victim was transported to Bell Memorial Hospital for treatment of spinal pain and released a short time later.
Deputies said the four men were fishing on the lake when they heard a loud crack to the rear of their 16-foot vessel. The transom and motor broke apart from the boat, causing it to take on water and sink very quickly.
Personal floatation devices (PFD) were on board the vessel, but none of the occupants were wearing them at the time of the incident. According to deputies, three of the men were able to properly don their PFDs, while one could only get in around his neck.
The sheriff's office reminded all boat operators to inspect their vessels for seaworthiness before venturing onto the water, and recommend all occupants to wear a United States Coast Guard approved PFD when on the water.
Evan Reid's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.