Kayaker rescued from Lake Superior after falling out of boat

By KBJR News 1

August 24, 2014 Updated Aug 24, 2014 at 11:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A kayaker was rescued off the shores of Duluth's Park Point Sunday afternoon, after strong waves seemed to have made it too difficult to return to shore.

Duluth Fire, Police, Saint Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad, and the U.S. Coast Guard all responded to the 1200 block of Park Point around 5:30 Sunday evening, on reports of a man who had fallen out of his kayak into Lake Superior, about 300 yards offshore.

Authorities say the unidentified man's family made the call after realizing the man was struggling to return to shore, and was unable to re–enter the kayak.

A rescue boat was deployed, and a Coast Guard helicopter was able to keep an eye on the man while the boat raced to the scene.

Duluth Fire Assistant Chief Erik Simonson says the fact that the man wore a life jacket helped prevent the rescue from ending in tragedy.

"It's getting toward the end of August, but the water in Lake Superior is still cold, and if you're not prepared for it—if you spend any amount of time out there at all in the water—it's going to have an effect on you," said Simonson, "so in this case we don't know all the details yet, but I'm sure the life jacket made all the difference in the world."

Simonson says everyone visiting Park Point's beaches should be aware of the conditions, and the potential for potentially deadly rip currents.

Flags along Park Point are used to indicate when rip current risk is high.

Billy Wagness