COURTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A resident near Stoner Lake rescued a man whose motorized canoe overturned in the middle of the Kent County waterway.
Ray Gautreau told 24 Hour News 8 he was in his backyard and heard the canoeist yelling for help. Gautreau called 911 after seeing the canoeist clinging to his canoe, and then took matters in his own hands until rescue personnel could arrive.
Gautreau grabbed his own canoe, some flotation devices and paddled out to the stranded canoeist, later identified as Allan Nolan from Comstock Park.
"I gave him one of my flotation devices, he kind of held onto the back and I tried to paddle us back in, fighting the wind," Gautreau said. "We were getting there but it was really slow and then rescue showed up and helped us the rest of the way."
Rescue personnel arrived at the scene in Courtland Township, northeast of Rockford, about 9:30 a.m. Thursday and helped Gautreau bring Nolan to shore.
Police said the prop on Nolan's canoe got tangled in some weeds and stalled. The canoe then capsized as Nolan tried to remove the weeds. Nolan used his own personal flotation device to stay afloat and tried to flip the canoe but could not. He lost his flotation device and clung to the boat until help arrived.
Nolan was about 150 yards from shore and thought he might get entangled with the weeds.
24 Hour News 8 talked to Nolan when he got to shore. He didn't want to go on camera but said he was fine and didn't need medical attention. Nolan said he is glad Gautreau was able to help.
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