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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Jones Pantaleon

Sunday Survival Story! Rescued after 7 hours in Lake Michigan!

CHICAGO (CBS)– Two people survived seven hours in Lake Michigan on Tuesday, after they were separated from their personal watercraft.

The Coast Guard rescued the two survivors near Waukegan around 7 p.m. Tuesday night, hours after their personal watercraft was located.

Coast Guard officials received a report around 4 p.m. of an unmanned personal watercraft that was located approximately three miles from Lake Forest Beach two hours earlier.

According to the Coast Guard, two cell phones, keys and a wallet with identification were found inside the unmanned watercraft.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Traverse City, Michigan, began conducting a track line search from Naval Station Great Lakes to the last known position of the personal water craft. Approximately two and a half miles into the search, the helicopter crew located two individuals wearing life jackets and waving their arms. A rescue swimmer was deployed and hoisted Kathleen and Michael Root around 7 p.m.

The survivors were transported to a local emergency medical services where they were treated for hypothermia.

According to the Coast Guard, the two survivors fell into the water and separated from their watercraft, and had been in the water about seven hours before they were rescued.

This is an incredible survival story and an example of taking the required precautions when out on open water. Always have a Coast Guard approved life jacket on when boating and if separated from vessel, stay calm and do your best to be visible. For more information on how to select a life jacket, please visit

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