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Monday September 5th, 2011

Posted at 4:54pm

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UPDATE:

On September 5th, 2011 at approximately 8:40pm the 63 year old female (from Michigan) succumbs to her injuries, a post-mortem has been scheduled for September 6th.

No names or cause of death will be released.

On Monday, September 05, 2011 a 59 year old Michigan man was navigating his 23 foot sailboat in Lake St. Clair, when it was swamped by 6 foot waves, capsizing the vessel and sending the 5 occupants into the water.  It appears that the occupants were in the water for approximately 1 ½ hours before the OPP were contacted by a citizen at 1:00pm who indicated that there may be a capsized sailboat in Lake St. Clair. 

At 930am the captain of the vessel departed from the Thames River area with the intention to travel back to St. Clair Shores, Michigan after a weekend of sailing with family and friends.  The vessel was also occupied by a 63 year old woman, a 14 and a 29 year old man, and a 16 year old woman.   They were all Michigan residents and they were wearing life-jackets and the captain was an experienced sailor.

The vessel was 1 kilometre off shore and approximately 2 kilometres west of the Belle River Marina, when it began to take on water.  A citizen noticed that the ship was in peril and this is when the police were contacted.   The Canadian Coast Guard, along with the OPP Marine Units from Essex County and Chatham-Kent attended the area.

A witness riding a seadoo also attended, and due to the condition of the 63 year old female, he transported the female to awaiting paramedics.  The remainder of the boaters were transported to shore by the Emergency Service vessels. The 63 year old Michigan female has been transported to Metropolitan Hospital and is in critical condition.  The 59 and 29 year old Michigan men have been transported to Hotel Dieu Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.   The other two female passengers are being treated at Metropolitan Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The incident is being investigated by the Essex County OPP Marine Unit and the Technical Traffic Investigations Unit.  Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

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