2 Hart fishermen drown in Lake Michigan; search continues for missing body.

August 15, 2016
Emergency crews stand by near Little Sable Lighthouse. Photo by Jason Miney Photography, Ludington.

Emergency crews stand by near Little Point Sable Lighthouse. Photo by Jason Miney Photography, Ludington.

#OceanaCountyNews #LakeMichiganDrowning

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP — A 53-year-old Hart man and a 62-year-old Hart man drowned in Lake Michigan Sunday night, Aug. 14, while fishing, and the search continues for one of the men’s bodies, according to a press release issued by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

The Little Point Sable Lighthouse.

The Little Point Sable Lighthouse.

The body of Brian Waslusky, 53, of Hart was recovered near Pentwater Sunday night, and the search continues for the body of Steve Bruce, 62, of Hart. A third fishermen, Russell Pierce, survived. The threesome “had been fighting a big fish” when the incident occurred, according to the press release.

Waslusky was trying to net the fish but dropped the net, and then Bruce jumped in the lake to retrieve the fish and net. Waslusky jumped into the lake to assist him.

“At approximately 9:17 p.m. on August 14, 2016, the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division was contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard and was advised that there was a situation possibly involving two persons drowning in Lake Michigan off from the Little Point Sable Lighthouse,” the press release states. “The Oceana County Marine Boat immediately responded. The Oceana County Dive Team was also advised of the situation. As responding units were coming to the area, we were advised that a vessel with Coast Guard personnel was transporting one of the victims who had been recovered towards Pentwater. Shortly after that Coast Guard vessel arrived in Pentwater, the victim was pronounced dead. That victim was identified as 53-year-old Brian Waslusky of Hart.

“While checking the area, the Oceana County Marine Patrol found the boat the incident had originated from. On that boat was Russell Pierce. Russell advised that he and Brian Waslusky had been fishing with Steve Bruce, who is 62-year-old Hart man, on his 23-foot Bayliner fishing boat. Russell advised that they had been fighting a big fish. Pierce advised that Waslusky had attempted to net the fish and had dropped the net. Pierce stated that when Waslusky dropped the net, Bruce went in the lake after the fish and net. Pierce states that when Mr. Bruce went in the lake, Waslusky went in to assist, thus leaving Pierce to man the boat. Pierce states that Waslusky immediately began to struggle, and Bruce then began to struggle as well.

“Waslusky was recovered a short time later, but Mr. Bruce went down in the water. The search for him continues at this time with units from Oceana County Marine, Mason County Marine, Muskegon County Marine, Michigan State Police Marine and U.S. Coast Guard.”

Following the Coast Guard’s retrieval of Waslusky, emergency crews seemed to have difficulty locating the boat. Eventually the boat was located, brought to Pentwater, placed on a trailer, and impounded by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

Rescue personnel were using Little Point Sable Lighthouse and the Pentwater Yacht Club as bases for the search and rescue operation.

It was reoprted that neither drowning victim was wearing a life vest.

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