Minneapolis family rescued after getting stranded canoeing in Lake Superior

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Alger County Rescue saved a family of four from Minneapolis, Minnesota who became stranded on the Pictured Rocks lakshore after their canoe took on too much water. Photo Courtesy: Melissa DeVries

A Minneapolis family of four had quite the scare Tuesday after they got stranded while canoeing on Lake Superior in northern Michigan.

According to the Alger County Sheriff's Office, at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, a tour boat operator reported that several people were stranded along the Upper Peninsula lakeshore.

“On the trip back, I was coming around the cove and just as I was going to turn away, I saw some yellow off to the left, so I stopped and looked at the binoculars and saw it was four people on the rocks,” said Capt. David Sliter of Pictured Rock Cruises.

Authorities said the family was canoeing along the Pictured Rocks lake shore when they were overtaken by rising winds and waves. The family said their canoe had taken on a substantial amount of water, causing the boat to become inoperable.

The parents and two small children - who were wearing life jackets - had two swim approximately 150 yards to reach a small rocky beach near Bridal Falls. Once they were spotted, a rescue crew was sent in to save them. The cruise boat was too big to get to shore, so a local water taxi went to get them.

"There was a young girl she was numb from the waist down she couldn't walk, so the deck hand had to lift her up and place her on the boat," said Capt. Sliter.

The family was rescued and taken to a hospital for evaluation. The two adults were identified as Yonyalu Polinske and Tabithah Lynn Polinske.

"It was one of the few situations where I was thinking if I hadn’t seen them and I had heard the news the next day yea that would weigh very heavy on me," said Capt. Sliter.

Sheriff's officials are urging people to use extreme caution when venturing out on Lake Superior.