Man Dies After Canoe Tips Over on Pere Marquette River
November 15, 2019
By Gabriella Galloway
CBS affiliate, WWTV/WWUP-TV
9&10, Caddilac, MI
Steven John Borkowski, a 48- year-old Grand Rapids man died
Friday morning while canoeing and hunting with his father and brother in Mason
County. They were going down the Pere Marquette River.
First responders arrived at Scottville Riverside Park to
try and rescue Borkowski . The call that came into the scanner said, “Sounds
like they might have a subject on the river without a life jacket.” “I have a
water emergency. Riverside Park in Scottville.”
What started out as a father, son hunting trip turned
tragic Friday morning. While a father and his adult sons were canoeing down the
Pere Marquette River, just a half a mile west of Scottville Riverside Park,
their canoe hit a log and overturned.
“When emergency crews arrived on the scene, they had found
two victims suffering from hypothermia who were actually attempting CPR on a
third individual,” said Sheriff Kim Cole with the Mason County Sheriff’s
Office. One of the sons, a 48- year- old man did not survive. “The other two
are currently being treated at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital for
hypothermia,” said Cole.
This is the seventh drowning in Mason County this year. “Clearly
for us, it’s a tragic start to our firearm season,” said Cole. “Sometimes you
just don’t have words.”
The sheriff reminds everyone to take safety precautions
this hunting season, especially for those on the water. “Obviously life jackets
always make a difference. Even a flotation cushion to sit on would make a difference,”
said Cole. “This time of year it’s really problematic because the rivers so
cold and the currents obviously with the high waters we’ve experienced all year
long is problematic as well.”
The sheriff says the drownings this year have impacted the entire
community. “Now were getting into the winter season and you know this morning
when I was notified of this, the seventh drowning, you just wonder, when is it
going to end?” asked Cole.
Family member describes drowning during hunting trip
BY ANGELINE MCCALL, Fox News 17, West Michigan
NOVEMBER 15, 2019
AMBER TOWNSHIP, Mich.
- A Grand Rapids man died after his family's canoe overturned during a hunting
trip in Mason County. Emergency crews were called around 7:35 a.m. Friday
morning to the Pere Marquette River near the Scottville boat launch in Amber
Township, east of Ludington. 48-year-old Steve Borkowski died as a result of
the accident. His brother, Marc Borkowski, and his father John Borkowski,
Over the phone, Marc described the accident and how he was
able to help his father out of the water. The men were traveling on a 19-foot
canoe to their hunting spot about a half mile or more from the boat launch. The
canoe hit a log in the water and then overturned. "I went under the
water," said Marc, who was able to come up for air after swallowing river
water. After freeing himself from a branch, he found his father, who couldn't
move, and "...threw him on the bank of the river."
At this time, his brother was 50 yards down the river. When
Marc finally made it to him, he says he found him 2 feet under a branch
underneath the water. Marc and his father tried to perform CPR on Steve but
says it was too late by then. When emergency crews arrived, they found the the
two men trying to help Steve. First responders continued CPR with the
Scottville Fire Department and Scottville Police Department. Steve was later
pronounced dead at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.
The Sheriff's Office reports they could not find any life
jackets nearby, but Marc tells FOX17 they did have life jackets on the canoe.
They were not wearing them at the time of the accident.