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1 dies, 1 fisherman missing after Lake Michigan boating accident

A weekend fishing excursion for three friends on Lake Michigan ended in tragedy for two of the men.

According to reports from the Oceana County Sheriff's Office, a 53-year-old man drowned and another companion, 62, remains missing after entering the water and slipping beneath its surface after a struggle. The two men were residents of Hart, Michigan.

The third man accompanying them relayed the following chain of events to first responders.

The three friends set out Sunday, Aug. 14, to do some fishing on a 23-foot Bayliner. The lone survivor said the anglers were tussling with a large fish. One of the men tried to use a net to contain the fish but dropped it into the lake. The missing fisherman entered the water first to retrieve it, and was soon joined by the other. Both were soon struggling in the water.

The press release from the sheriff's office stated that the Coast Guard contacted the marine division of the sheriff's office at around 9:17 p.m., advising them of a possible double fatality out on the lake near Little Point Sable Lighthouse. First responders on the scene included the U.S. Coast Guard, the Oceana County Dive Team and personnel on the Oceana County Marine Boat.

By the time the responders reached the location, the Coast Guard had already recovered one of the men's bodies. He was taken to Pentwater, Michigan, where he was pronounced dead. The search for the missing fisherman continued into the following day with personnel from many units in the region participating.

Whenever there is a boating fatality on Lake Michigan, it is tragic for the survivors of the deceased. Some accidents are unavoidable, certainly, but a significant percentage of them may be preventable. If you are injured in a boating accident or lose a loved one due to someone else's negligence, it may be possible to recover financial damages through the filing of a civil suit.

Source: Oceana's Herald-Journal, "1 local man dies, second missing in Lake Michigan fishing accident," Andrew Skinner, Aug. 15, 2016

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