Search continues for couple believed to have been swept off Black Rocks

Published: Oct. 25, 2017 at 6:14 PM EDT
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UPDATE 8:30 a.m. Friday:

Friday's wet and windy weather may delay the search for the missing man and woman swept off Black Rocks in Marquette Tuesday afternoon.

Search and recovery efforts expanded Thursday, as the Marquette County Sheriff's Office and the Michigan State Police Dive Team joined the search.

The Michigan State Police boat is involved in the coastline search from Marquette to Munising -- about 40 miles of shoreline.

Marquette police say 53-year-old Robert Anderson and 39-year-old Sarah Hall were apparently swept off the rocks Tuesday afternoon during strong winds and heavy waves. They are both from Iron River.


Marquette City Police and Fire continue to search on Presque Isle for the couple that is believed to have been swept into Lake Superior by Tuesday's high waves. The search has gone from a rescue to recovery mission.

"If anybody have gotten into the water and stayed in the water for this period of time, you are looking at more of a recovery mission than a rescue," said Capt. Michael Kohler, the Captain of Detectives for Marquette Police.

On Tuesday at 1:35 p.m., police believe 53-year-old Robert Anderson and 37-year-old Sarah Hall fell into Lake Superior from the massive waves crashing onto Black Rocks. Both individuals are from Iron River and have been missing since Tuesday.

"We did an evacuation of Presque Isle and with only little vehicles remaining on the island, we started doing checks on vehicles and both individuals seemed to be most likely," said Capt. Kohler.

Wednesday's investigation continued without the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard had searched by helicopter Tuesday evening for three hours before suspending their search. Both Marquette Police and Coast Guard said their searches are weather permitting.

"We can only do what mother nature will allow us to do," said Capt. Kohler. "Obviously if there are 6 to 8 foot waves it is not safe for us to be out their either, so we do certain searches whether that be from shore or from air. Until the waves come down, we can start thinking about boats and divers."

Helping the search are eye witnesses that saw the two in the water, one was Tim Case.

"I looked down and saw them in the water and they were still alive, but not struggling." said Case. "They were at the mercy of the waves."

He said because the waves were so high, jumping in to save them would have been impossible.

"You just could not get into the water to help them which was the frustrating aspect, not being able to help those people," said Case.

As the investigation and search for Anderson and Hall continues, Lakeshore Boulevard and Presque Isle will be closed.