Rough Water, Rip Current Blamed for Saginaw Bay Drowning Death

A 65-year-old man from Commerce Township is dead after being knocked over by a wave about 11:00 a.m. Thursday on Saginaw Bay.

Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said the victim, Kelly Atwell, and another 65-year-old man, also from Commerce Township, were standing on a sandbar in rough water in Caseville Township when the wave knocked both of them into the water. The other man was able to get back to shore, but Atwell was taken out further into the water by what authorities believe was a rip current. He disappeared, but was found some 20 minutes later, about 400 feet west of where he had last been seen.

Two Huron County deputies assisted with resuscitation  efforts before Atwell was taken to Scheurer Hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead a short time later. An autopsy has been scheduled.

Hanson advised beach goers to beware of rip currents when the water is rough, especially during northerly winds.