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Boat Accident Claims Life

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

National Park News

On the evening of August 31st, Walter Houdek, 77, died during a boating accident on Shell Lake.  Houdek and his friend, Charles Herweh, 71, were fishing in a 12-foot aluminum row boat about 100 yards off shore when it became unstable and capsized.  The two men held onto the boat and started swimming back to shore. While doing so, Houdek said he wasn’t feeling well, then quickly went unconscious.  Herweh held Houdek’s head above the water and swam him and the boat to shore, performed CPR, and then drove to a nearby residence to call for help.  The boat was equipped with two lifejackets, but neither was used. Rangers and the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.  



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