By Annette Christie
Two Drown in Keeler Lake
On Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:24 p.m., Van Buren County Central Dispatch sent officers to the scene of an active drowning on Keeler Lake in Keeler Township.
Upon arrival, Michigan State Police Troopers were flagged down by the caller who advised that two of his friends were fishing on the lake and had yelled to him for help. The caller directed troopers to the southwest corner of the lake where a capsized boat was observed approximately 75 yards from shore.
Troopers utilized watercraft along the shoreline to recover both victims and bring them to shore. Emergency medical personnel administered lifesaving measures on shore and the victims were transported to area hospitals with one victim going to Borgess-Lee Memorial in Dowagiac and one going to Lakeland Hospital in Watervliet.
Unfortunately, all lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful and the victims were pronounced dead at the respective hospitals.
The identities of the drowning victims are as follows: Douglas Charles McIntyre, 45, of Decatur and Robert E. Novick, 64 of Evergreen Parks, Illinois.
Troopers were assisted on scene by deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Sister Lakes Fire Department & Dive Team, Hartford Fire and Rescue Department, Pride Care EMS, and the Victims’ Services units from Van Buren and Cass Counties.
Police remind residents of carbon monoxide poisoning
The Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is urging residents to be aware of the dangers associated with carbon monoxide following recent deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning during the recent widespread power outage.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas produced when fossil fuels, such as coal, gasoline, natural gas and oil are burned. In only minutes, deadly fumes can develop in enclosed places.
The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may be headache, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, and nausea. As more of the gas is inhaled, it can cause unconsciousness, brain damage and even death. If someone does suspect carbon monoxide poisoning they should move themselves, their family, and their pets to fresh air quickly and immediately call 911.
“Generators must be placed outside and away from windows or any other area where exhaust may vent back into a living area,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “They should never be placed inside a home or garage.”
Families are encouraged to follow these carbon monoxide poisoning prevention tips:
Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal burning devices inside of homes, basements, garages or near a window. These appliances give off carbon monoxide which can build up quickly in a home.
Follow operating and maintenance instructions for fuel-burning appliances and equipment.
Do not use a cooktop or oven to heat your home as these appliances are not designed for this purpose and may result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
Do not let a vehicle run in a garage.
Do not sleep in room with an un-vented gas or kerosene space heater.
Ensure your home has a battery operated carbon monoxide detector, which can be purchased at local home improvement and retail stores.
Get your furnace checked every year to make sure it isn’t leaking carbon monoxide.