Alcohol believed to be factor in Little Traverse Bay boat crash that left 3 injured

Boat struck break wall at high speeds, police say


EMMET COUNTY, Mich. – Three people were injured after their boat struck the breakwall in Little Traverse Bay at high speeds.

The call came for help came to police at 2:50 a.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 17). Troopers from the Michigan State Police Gaylord Post got a call from a Petoskey resident reporting hearing a man yelling for help.

Troopers searched the area and found two people sitting on the break wall near Bay View. A 21-year-old Florida woman had severe injuries to her right arm. Troopers applied a tourniquet to her arm. A 41-year-old man from Massachusetts had injuries to his head and face. The man yelling for help was a 26-year-old from Grand Rapids, who was drifting in the sinking boat.

Harbor Springs police used a marine patrol boat to rescue the 26-year-old man. All three people were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police believe they had left Harbor Springs at an unknown time to go boating in a 2020 Chaparral. It is believed that they struck the break wall in Bay View at high speeds, causing the Florida woman and Massachusetts man to be ejected into the break wall.

The Grand Rapids man was driving the boat and hit his face on the console. He stayed with the boat as it drifted out and began to sink. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

The U.S. Coast Guard is expected to retrieve the partially submerged boat from the bay.

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.