Early Friday was a harrowing morning on Lake Huron for first responders and a couple of lucky fishermen. 69-year-old Dennis Pluff and 68-year-old David Varian had gone fishing and were heading to a reef 22 miles out into Lake Huron. The men left the harbor in Port Sanilac at 5:30 a.m. on July 25th in an 18-foot fishing boat. They made it about 6 miles out when the water became too rough and began to fill the boat. The boat overturned at approximately 9:30 in the morning.
With the boat overturned, both men sat on top of the vessel in their life jackets and waited for help to arrive. After receiving a call from a concerned family member at 11:00 p.m., a Sanilac County Sheriff’s Office Deputy located the fishermen’s vehicle and boat trailer at the boat launch. The Deputy summoned the Coast Guard who searched an area where the fishermen were believed to have traveled. The Coast Guard helicopter crew eventually found the two sitting atop the overturned vessel more than 14 miles from shore at 2:31 a.m. Sheriff Gary Biniecki said, “The joint effort between the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Coast Guard, Coast Guard Canada, and Sanilac Central Dispatch undoubtedly saved the men from further peril or death.”