Accident Database

Report ID# 1165

  • Unknown
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

I was carrying my kayak up the access trail about 4:40 p.m. I did not witness the upset but heard shouting and ran to the river as the unconscious and face down victim was being swum in an eddy towards the shore by two companions. I ran into the eddy and helped drag the victim onto the bank. I do not know how long the victim was in the water before I arrived. From the companions' comments I gathered they had lost track of him as they were swept downstream. He was wearing a helmet, pfd, t-shirt appropriate for the warm day and water temperature and river shoes. His swim shorts were missing. He was blue in the face and upper torso, unresponsive and not breathing. There were no facial or head injuries that I could see and no other injuries except some scrapes on his legs, possibly from pulling him to shore. No pulse or breathing were detected.

CPR was started immediately by myself and the victim's friend who owned the commercial raft they were using. A woman from the raft whom I believe was the victims daughter had gotten to the shore and summoned help. A second kayaker arrived on the scene to help with the CPR. The victim never regained breathing or consciousness. CPR was continued until the EMS team arrived in about twenty minutes.

Death at Pier's Gorge NORWAY TOWNSHIP

The Dickinson County Sheriff Department continues to investigate the death of a 71-year-old Chicago man at Pier's Gorge on Sunday. At about 4:45 p.m. Sunday, a 9-1-1 call was received regarding an unresponsive male who had been rafting in the Pier?s Gorge area of Norway Township, said Undersheriff Scott Celello. Upon investigation, it was learned that a private rafting party of family and friends was floating down Pier's Gorge on the Menominee River when their raft capsized. The group continued to float downstream, holding on to the outside of the raft, until they could reach a resting area. While they floated downstream, they continued to talk to the victim and he was responsive, according to the police report.

When the group reached the resting area, they noticed that Guenther Siegel, 71, of Chicago, was not with them. Seconds later, Siegel was located floating face up and unresponsive. Siegel was brought to shore and CPR was started. Authorities said it is not known if Siegel drowned or died of other causes. He was wearing a life jacket and helmet. The investigation is continuing, pending an autopsy. Assisting at the scene were the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol, North Alert Ambulance and Beacon Ambulance Service.

Pete Frecchio's e-mail address is

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