Sheriff changes policy after Lake Huron death - Fox 2 News Headlines

Sheriff changes policy after Lake Huron death

Posted: Updated:
WORTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan sheriff's department plans to call a local rescue crew for help on future water searches following the recent death of an 18-year-old Detroit-area man who fell off a raft in southern Lake Huron, officials said.
 
Firefighters from Lexington weren't called June 17 because Sanilac County dispatch was under directives for three years not to call them to water rescues due to training concerns, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported.
 
It took about 20 minutes from the time Sanilac County deputies were dispatched to when they launched a rescue boat from Lexington, the newspaper reported. Lexington firefighters said it could have taken them only 5 minutes to get into the water.
 
"I can't say we would have made a difference," Lexington fire Lt. Mike Harder said. "But I can say we would have been there ... sooner."
 
On Friday, Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki changed the directive. Undersheriff Bradley Roff said the sheriff's concern was with liability if they weren't properly trained. Roff said firefighters hadn't done a 40-hour state Department of Natural Resources marine rescue training course.
 
"We are going to go ahead and send them on all water rescues and the responsibility of their training really does and should rest with their department," Roff said. Several sheriff's deputies have the training, he said.
 
Ikechukwu Onwuzurike of Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township was found about three hours after he was reported missing, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Onwuzurike wasn't wearing a life jacket, authorities have said.
 
The search took place off of Worth Township, about 70 miles northeast of Detroit.
 
Lexington firefighters have responded to water incidents even if they aren't dispatched to them, including the June 17 search. Lexington Village Manager Tom Raymond said the firefighters are insured through the village.
 
"If the sheriff feels we need additional training, I don't have a problem with that, but you can't always operate in fear of being sued," Raymond said.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:58:51 GMT
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
  • VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:18:46 GMT
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
  • RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:05:15 GMT
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices