Au Train drowning shocks already grieving family

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 4:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A family is grieving after a Lake Orion man died south of Au Train Island Sunday afternoon.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, but according to the victim's brother, the man died on a boating trip to pour his father's ashes into Lake Superior.

59-year-old Robert Louis from Lake Orion, Michigan died shortly after he and six other passengers fell out of their boat in Lake Superior near Au Train.

The group was on a 19foot wooden kit boat, and were out to honor the final wishes of Louis' father.

His father died just two weeks ago after years of battling Alzheimer's.

"My brother literally devoted his whole life to you know, stick around and making sure dad was taken care of for the last 4 years of his life and then two weeks later we had his ashes and his was half on mom's grave and the other half on Lake Superior," Robert Louis' brother John "Joe" Louis said.

Michigan State Police were dispatched to a boating accident Sunday afternoon around 6:00 p.m.

"When troopers arrived they found that six boaters had been rescued by a pontoon boat that had been in the area and were currently being treated for hypothermia. The seventh passenger was not recovered immediately," Michigan State Police Trooper Alan Park said.

A witness from shore told police he saw the boat take a sharp turn for reasons unknown at this time, spilling everyone on the boat into Lake Superior.

Police say the the throttle was still open when everyone fell out.

"What I gathered from the information was, he tried to grab the boat as it was circling around him or them and the prop hit him and I'm not sure if it made it so he couldn't swim or if it injured him bad enough to be life threatening," Alger County Sheriff's Department Officer A.J. Schirschmidt said.

The Alger County Sheriff's Department and U.S. Coast Guard searched the area for about 24 hours before the body was found.

"We searched for quite a while above water when the [helicopter] was around," Schirschmidt said. "The Coast Guard got some better information of kind of where they figured the accident occurred so at that time we put two divers in the water."

Robert Louis' body was found by the Alger County Sheriff's Department Monday afternoon around 3:00 p.m. south of AuTrain Island.

"Just everybody he met was his friend, he was very helpful, kind," Joe Louis said. "The kind of guy that would run into a building on fire to help the people, just, incredible."

If you would like to donate to the Bobby Louis Memorial, please visit this


Watch TV6 and FOX UP for the latest information.