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Sheriff’s department boat sinks

HOUGHTON — The Houghton County Sheriff’s Department is waiting for word on reimbursement for a sunken patrol boat.

Over the weekend, the department was notified the boat was taking on water at its dock at the marina, said Sheriff Brian McLean.

What caused the boat to sink is still unknown. McLean said it may be connected to the recent installation of two new outboard motors recently put on the boat. The leaks appeared to be coming from where the bore holes went through the hull to install the motors, he said.

“The water was weeping out of the ends of the bolt,” he said. “That’s not supposed to happen.”

The department had the boat for about 10 years before pursuing the grant for motors, McLean said.

“We were thinking if we get it on the big lake and one engine fails, you’ve got another,” he said.

Since they were installed, the department had operated the boat without incident for the past month.

The department usually looks at the boat every day during the summer. However, it had already used up the money for its summer marine grant. Five days before the boat sank, the officer who manned the boat had already switched to patrolling the ORV trails, McLean said.

The plan had been to keep the boat at the marina until winter.

“We generally keep the boat in the water until the end of October,” he said. “We like to be the last one out of the marina. I guess this year, we’re the first one out.”

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