Search for missing man continues

Search for missing man continues Written by Laura Misjak

DELHI TWP. – The search for a missing 28-year-old man continues today in the Grand River in the area of Waverly Road and Burke Highway. Crews from Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and Delhi Township Fire Department are searching the river’s shoreline by boat from the area where the man fell in to the Waverly Road bridge. They plan to search about four hours each day. If necessary, authorities will re-evaluate their recovery plan Monday. “We’re surface searching at this point,” Jungel said. The victim was with a group that had launched canoes and kayaks Wednesday from McNamara Canoe Landing in nearby Aurelius Township. At about 5:45 p.m., sheriff’s officials responded to a call that he had slipped underwater. He had been walking across a logjam to reach his brother’s canoe after his kayak became stuck, authorities have said. A strong, 5- to 6-mph current pulled him under-water, officials said. The vicitm was not wearing a life vest and the group of people he was with had been drinking, although officials couldn’t say whether he had been drinking. Logs and debris were removed from the river, but divers couldn’t find his body. Their efforts have been hampered by high water and a fast current. Family members said the victim has two children. – Laura Misjak Safety tips: Pay attention to weather conditions and avoid water that appears to be moving quickly. Life jackets also are important, officials said. “If you do get caught up in a current, it’s important to swim with it and not against it,” said Morgan Haskell, aquatics programmer for the city of Lansing. “Just let it carry you. Go in the general direction it’s going and try to slowly make your way to the side. If you fight it, you will get tired out faster.” Local officials are stressing the importance of taking precautions near water following two incidents in the Lansing region in the last week. The lessons on water safety most children are taught should be remembered whenever anyone’s in the water, no matter the age, said Morgan Haskell, aquatics programmer for the city of Lansing, who also trains lifeguards. “I think people need to be prepared when they enter a natural body of water that it’s not like swimming in a swimming pool. It’s not like the pool in your backyard,” she said. “A lot of times people are caught off guard by the strength of the current and they don’t realize before they go in just how tired they can become in such a small amount of time.” Nearly 80 percent of drowning victims are male, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Ralph Ziegler, a volunteer boat safety instructor for the state’s Department of Natural Resources, said he finds men seem to be more reluctant to follow the rules. “It tends to be guys who want to do things themselves, and they think they know most everything,” Ziegler said. Alcohol also is a factor in about half of all adolescent and adult deaths related to water recreation, said Gail Hayes, senior press officer at the CDC based in Atlanta, Ga. “Don’t mix alcohol and water,” she said. “Alcohol affects balance and coordination, and is more dangerous when combined with sun exposure and heat.” Continuing to promote water safety awareness is one way adults can be reminded of the rules they were taught as children, Haskell said. “It’s a matter of just leading by example,” Ziegler said. “If you’re out on a boat with other people you should wear your life jacket, make sure you follow all the rules of safety and instruct your passengers on what they need to do to be safe.”

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