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3 rescued off breakwall, may face charges

November 11, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Three men who climbed over the fence at the Upper Harbor breakwall were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, then taken into custody Saturday afternoon.

"Three people were trespassing at the Upper Harbor breakwall. They went past a locked gate," said Petty Officer Charles Osborne of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Marquette. "They walked up to the Upper Harbor light but with the Lake Superior weather, waves started pitching over the breakwall."

Osborne said a "Good Samaratin" called in a report to the Marquette City Police Department that three people "looked to be in trouble."

"The city police contacted us," Osborne said.

Police, when called by The Mining Journal Saturday evening, said no one with authorization to speak about the case would be available until Monday morning. However, according to the Marquette City Police Department's log: "3:28 p.m., three subjects climbed over the gate at the breakwall and are at the lighthouse, waves crashing over breakwall; too dangerous for officers to go out to them, called in Coast Guard boat to rescue, subjects arrested for disorderly person, drunk, Peter White Drive."

Osborne said the Coast Guard responded to the call from police.

"From there, we coordinated with local law enforcement and EMS," he said. "We launched our medium response boat, which is 45 feet long. From that, we launched an inflatable skiff."

The boat was able to get within 75 yards of the breakwall, then sent the skiff to pick up the three men.

"We were able to get them into the skiff, then from the skiff to the boat," Osborne said. "Then they were taken to the Upper Harbor shore where local EMS and police took over."

Osborne said in addition to Marquette police, the Marquette County Sheriff's office and the Marquette City Fire Department were on shore. The Coast Guard was contacted at about 4 p.m., he said, and brought the men to shore at about 4:45 p.m.

No further information was available about the three men who were rescued.

Osborne said the incident should serve as a warning to others.

"These people were trespassing and underdressed for the climate," Osborne said. "We want to reinforce that in cold weather, there is a definite threat of hypothermia this time of year.

"We would reiterate that in cold water, within minutes someone could be completely incapacitated."

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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