Marine deputies’ lifesaving recognizedPublished 5:27pm Thursday, January 10, 2013
ST. JOSEPH — One year flows into another.
Berrien County’s Marine Division is taking applications for the 2013 season which must be received by Jan. 25.
At the year-end Christmas potluck, Undersheriff Chuck Heit presented lifesaving awards to Lt. Martin Kurtz and Deputies Anthony Phillips, Abigail Pifer, Brendan Scarpone, Nick Stama, Sarah Kurtz and Greg Toliver for rescuing two Lake Michigan swimmers at Tiscornia Beach Aug. 5.
Two swimmers entered rough waters trying to rescue a third swimmer being pulled farther into the lake by rip currents.
Crew members partnered up in an attempt to reach the two swimmers, but were repelled by powerful winds and waves.
Other Marine Division members quickly entered the water to try to rescue what was now four people in distress.
After an exhausting recovery, all crew members and the two swimmers made it to shore safely.
This incident occurred as the crew cleared a drowning at Cherry Beach.
Marine Division logged 3,982 patrol hours in 2012, issued 103 citations, made 260 warnings, conducted 377 compliance checks, arrested two for intoxicated boating, handled three boating accidents, oversaw 21 search and rescues and inspected 214 livery boats.