Lake Michigan Search-2
Wednesday we were able to get our marker near our primary target of interest. The Ottawa County Sheriff Department came out with their ROV and confirmed that this was not what we were looking for. We continued to run the sonar and expand our search area with nothing new.
The weather started to turn rough on Thursday. The wind and waves picked up enough to prevent us from going out for Thursday and Friday. We were able to use this time to conduct some more interviews and learn more of the men’s’ fishing habits.
We went on the water early Saturday morning and covered about 3 square miles in about 10 hours. Unfortunately the sonar imaging was providing no interesting targets. The weather forecast for Sunday, and most of the week, looked very bad to be on the water.
We got up early Sunday morning with high hopes that the weather forecast would be wrong. But the weather buoy was indicating 8’ waves. We met with the two families and they had decided it would be best to suspend the lake search. They have been through so much in this two week period and are so grateful for everyone’s concern and help in trying to find their family members.
I knew going into this search it was going to be very difficult. Due to the lack of a last known location, the time frame of the fishermen’s departure, the time reported missing and also that Lake Michigan is an enormous area to search. We only had cell phone records that gave us 24 square miles of Lake Michigan to search. We accomplished to search a large area with what time we had. Unfortunately this time of year brings wind and waves which make our work and collecting good, clear sonar images pretty much impossible.
This search was like many we have been involved with. We meet so many amazing people and I would like to acknowledge some.
*Dave Sutton from Milwaukee, WI for sharing Bruce’s Legacy with a friend of the family.
*Pete Bosheff from Spring Lake, MI for making all this come together. He put the word out about needing a boat large enough for a large search up to 7 miles off shore. He then found the best boat captain in the area.
*Drew, Cathy and Chris Morris of Muskegon, MI for getting us out and back off the lake each day. Running sonar on a big lake in search for small items requires precise grid patterns. Their knowledge of all areas on this lake was extremely helpful.
*West Marine of Muskegon for giving Drew paid days off to captain the boat.
*Neil Squires of Byron Center, MI for supplying a boat and helping a couple of days.
*James Beech of Wyoming, MI that came out on the lake to help out.
*Joe Niewiek of Grand Rapids, MI for borrowing us a $100,000.00 boat. Having a large boat to work from was the key factor in allowing us to cover as much area as we did.
*Dave Niewiek of Grand Rapids, MI who came out to help out on the boat.
*Holiday Inn, Spring Lake for discounting rates for our stay.
*Baymont Inn, Holland for discounting rates for our stay.
*Cabellas of Holland for some donated items to aid in our searches.
The men’s families were incredibly supportive and made sure we were safe and had everything we needed.
It is with a heavy heart that we have to leave this search. Not getting the results we were all working towards is tough in these situations. We were told by the families that our being their searching, gave them some peace and that Aaron and Chris would be proud for all of the support that they have received.