Fatal boating incident involving 11-year-old child under investigation, says MNR


HILLSDALE CO., Michigan, (WNEM) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fatal boating incident that involved an 11-year-old girl being struck by a boat.

The incident happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday on Lake Michindoh off Bacon Road on the east side of the lake, off the Michindoh Conference Center which serves as both a Christian camp and a conference center.

The names of those involved in the incident are withheld pending the conclusion of an ongoing investigation.

A 25-year-old conference center lifeguard operated a 1989 Supra Sunsport that pulled 12 children on a banana boat, which is an unpowered boat and is owned by the Michindoh Conference Center, according to the DNR.

A 29-year-old woman was also on the boat, observing the children as a “lookout”. All of the children are wearing life jackets and helmets, MNR said.

The child was immediately transported to the platform of the conference center and was met by emergency responders, who treated the girls’ life-threatening injuries.

Emergency Medical Services personnel transported the girl by ambulance to Hillsdale County Hospital. “There she succumbed to her injuries.” DNR says.

Alcohol and drugs not considered a factor, weather conditions were favorable for boating; the boat was also the only active vessel on the lake when the incident occurred, according to MNR.

The boat operator has a Michigan Boater Safety Certificate and is cooperating with the investigation.

For more information on recreational boating and boating safety, visit the MNR website.

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