Lake Superior Drowning: Two Dead In Horrific Accident Off Little Presque Isle

Aaron Homer

A man and a woman, both in their twenties, drowned in Lake Superior Saturday, as bystanders tried -- and failed -- to save the victims caught up in strong currents, WLUC-TV (Marquette, Michigan) is reporting.

Police say that at about 3:10 p.m. Saturday, as tourists and area residents alike were enjoying the beaches of Little Presque Isle.

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A 24-year-old man then entered the water to try to help the women; he, too, was swept out into deeper water.

Finally, bystanders were on the shore were able to find life jackets and entered the water to try to rescue the victims. However, only one of the victims, one of the women, was able to make it to safety. The other woman, and the young man, both drowned.

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Little Presque Isle, where the drownings occurred, is a 430-acre natural area in a remote part of northern Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

"The Little Presque Isle tract is often called the crown jewel of Lake Superior, with its beautiful sand beaches, rugged shoreline cliffs, heavily timbered forests, and unmatched public views. The... area occurs north and south of Little Presque Point, around the mouth of Harlow Creek. The area is a combination of a wooded dune and swale community and bedrock lakeshore and cliff. The wooded dunes and swales formed as post-glacial lake levels receded, depositing a series of low sandy beach ridges."

According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, the Great Lakes can be dangerous because swimmers underestimate the effects of winds, currents, and waves on the surf. Dave Benjamin, executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, warns that swimmers should know their limits before attempting to get too deep into the waters of any of the Great Lakes.

"The Great Lakes are beautiful, but they can be very dangerous, especially to swimmers. Winds cause waves, waves cause dangerous currents, and the strength of those currents increase with the size of the waves."
"There are layers upon layers of threats that could pose problems for swimmers … Its physical makeup helps create large waves, especially when winds blow from the north and west."

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]