Keweenaw Search and Rescue responds to faulty distress beacon

GRANT TOWNSHIP — The Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a S.O.S. distress signal, located offshore from Horseshoe trail, in Grant Township on Monday, at approximately 2 p.m.

According to a Tuesday morning press release from the Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office was joined by Copper Harbor Fire, Keweenaw County Search and Rescue, Michigan Parks and Recreation and the U.S.-Coast Guard (Portage) in the search for Cale Prozen, of Minnesota. The Sheriff’s Office launched a P.W.C. (Personal Watercraft), and their boat. Michigan Parks crew launched a boat. The U.S. Coast Guard also was responding via boat, while Copper Harbor Fire and Keweenaw County Search and Rescue responded by searching the area by land, assisting in the search for Cale Prozen, of Minnesota.

Due to the favorable weather conditions at that time, the kayaker was located quickly north of Keystone Bay by the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s P.W.C, the release says. It was determined that Prozen was was actually not in any danger, but had a faulty emergency beacon. A beacon, according to the Sea Tow Foundation, is an electronic signaling device that alerts search-and-rescue services in the event of an emergency by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue coordination center.

“The kayaker was doing a Lake Superior tour,” said Sheriff Curt Pennala, “and was kayaking out of Duluth.”

The Keweenaw County Sheriff’s office would like to thank all the responding agencies and remind the public to double check their equipment and know their limits before venturing into the outlying landscapes to enjoy this beautiful area.


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