MARQUETTE - A report of a swimmer in distress in Lake Superior off Marquette drew several emergency response agencies Friday morning, but the report turned out to be false.
The Marquette City Fire Department was called after a witness reported seeing a swimmer off South Beach in Lake Superior, swimming parallel to the shoreline and then disappearing from view.
A second witness from a different vantage point had reported the same details to the lifeguard on duty, who called the fire department to the scene.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter is shown flying over Marquette’s Lower Harbor Friday after being called up from Traverse City when a report was made of a swimmer in distress along the South Beach. After a search by several agencies, it was determined that the report was a mistake. (Journal photo)
Seven firefighters left the station at 11:22 a.m. and arrived a minute later at a place south of the designated swimming area at South Beach.
Search protocols were put in place and the fire department requested support from several agencies, including the Marquette City Police Department, Marquette County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Coast Guard Marquette, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Traverse City and Marquette General Hospital ambulance.
In a news release, fire officials said an organized water search was conducted, but no swimmer was found. Additional potential witnesses were sought from the surrounding neighborhood.
Fire officials said a local resident came to the beach and told Marquette police he had been in the water swimming in the time frame the incident was reported.
The search was suspended.
The fire department cleared the scene at 12:48 p.m.
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.