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Grosse Pointe Boaters Help Locate Missing Pilot

WXYZ is reporting that the pilot of plane that crashed in Lake Huron rescued by boaters from Grosse Pointe Farms.

A couple from Grosse Pointe Farms boating in Lake Huron on Wednesday morning rescued the pilot of plane that crashed in the water the day before, WXYZ.com reported.

Dean and Diane Petitpren were boating to Presque Isle on their boat "Eagle's Nest" when they spotted the missing pilot, the television station reported. They had been talking about the missing pilot as they made their journey.

"Five minutes later my wife said, 'I see somebody!" Petitpren told WXYZ.

"He had his socks off, and he was waving the socks over his head," Petitpren said.

"He was really on his last leg. It looked like he was going down," he said. "His eyes were starting to shut. So, it's definitely a miracle."

Pilot Michael Trapp, of Gouverneur, NY, treaded water without a life jacket for more than 17 hours after his plane crashed into Lake Huron, according to the Coast Guard.

Trapp's two-seat Cessna 150F took off in New York en route for Wisconsin, but crashed Tuesday into the lake.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Detroit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base started its search for the missing pilot Tuesday night.

The plane crashed 17 miles east of Harbor Beach. Trapp then swam 15 miles toward lights on the horizon until he was rescued, WXYZ reported.

WXYZ also reported that Trapp is in stable condition at Harbor Beach Community Hospital.

The Petitprens said it has been quite emotional.

"I just went to see my wife downstairs," Petitpren told Action News over the phone. "She's still bawling, because she found him, saw him, spotted him. It was pretty emotional for all of us," he said.

GP Mom July 28, 2011 at 01:29 AM
I'm choked up just reading this! Thanks so much to, Diane, for actually looking! Many people would have thought about it and moved on with their day! You are my hero today!!!
Ranae Beyerlein, PhD July 28, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Thanks, Patch, for picking up on the connection! And thanks, Petitpren's for being observant and responsive.
Lisa VanOsdol July 28, 2011 at 04:19 AM
Thank you Patch for the excellent reporting on this!!! I heard the basic facts about this on the radio today but after reading this I realized that there was much more to the story than "just the facts". People tend to forget how massive the Great Lakes truly are but stories like this (and this year's tragic Chicago-Mackinac race) remind you.

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