Woman drowns after falling out of kayak
KALAMAZOO AND BATTLE CREEK
by: 24 Hour News 8 web staff
Posted: Jun 1, 2019
ALBION, Mich. (WOOD) —
A 56-year-old woman who had fallen out of a kayak and was trapped
underwater in Albion has died. The
Albion Department of Public Safety identified the woman as Betty Micheal of
Police were called around 7:30 p.m. Friday near the
dam at Porter and Monroe Streets for a report of a person trapped under water. Micheal
had been kayaking with a friend when she lost control in the swift-moving
water, pulling her underneath the surface and through the dam.
Authorities say officers worked quickly to close the
gates of the dam to slow down the flow of the water, but it took about 10
minutes to get the woman free. Paramedics and firefighters worked on the woman
for several minutes before she was taken to the hospital.
She was pronounced dead around 4:30 a.m. at Henry Ford
Allegiance Hospital in Jackson Saturday morning after complications due to the
Husband of Albion woman who died in kayaking accident
looking for answers
by Tarvarious Haywood | Newschannel 3
Thursday, June 6th 2019
ALBION, Mich. — The husband of a kayaker who died on
Saturday near a dam in Albion wants someone to take responsibility in the
incident before it happens again.
Dennis Michael said Betty Michael, his wife of three
decades, was an avid kayaker, but it was the first time she and another kayaker
had ever paddled down the swift stretch of water near the dam where she
drowned. “It should have wires across here. There should be water buoys telling
you that it’s here,” said Michael.
He said he got the call from the other kayaker's boyfriend
that Betty was drowning near a dam. He says it took him five minutes to get to
the site. At that time she had been under water for 5 minutes.
Dennis, along with other residents, attempted to rescue her,
but said officers said no because it was too dangerous. By the time rescuers
reached the location almost 30 minutes had passed.
Albion Public Safety Chief Scott Kipp said, “We are not
water rescue trained, let alone swift-water rescue trained, and we don’t have
any swift-water rescue teams near here.”Residents who live near the river said
this is not the first incident and they have had close calls themselves.
The neighbors, who didn’t want to be identified, said,
“Right here at this area we have been outside a lot sitting on the bank, lots
of other kayakers that come upon it don’t even realize the dams there. Some of
them shot right through with their kayak. There are no signs. We went kayaking
before and there is absolutely no signs saying 'dam ahead.'”
Kipp said he has been working for awhile with several
entities to get the funding to remove the dam in the area. He said he recently
spoke with U.S. Senator Gary Peters in hopes to get the funds needed to tear
the dam in the area down. “These dams have outlived there purpose. They’re old
they’re falling apart and it would just be better if they were all removed and
make it safe for everybody to use the waterways,” Kipp said.
Dennis said it’s hard to start over after losing a loved
one. “I don’t know I have no idea what he is to do now,” said Dennis. Albion College is responsible for the section of the river
where the dam sits. We did reach out to them and they said to speak with the
Albion police chief.