A trio of missing kayakers are being treated for hypothermia, after spending the night in the waters of Lake Michigan off the Door peninsula.
Door County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Jeff Farley said a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 spotted the 43-year-old woman — formerly of Wisconsin — and two 9-year-old boys clinging to overturned kayaks Friday morning, some two miles north of Whaleback Shoals. Farley said that was about 16-17 nautical miles north of where they put in at Nicolet beach.
The three are identified as Alison Alter of Austin, Texas, her son Zack Suri, and a relative, Thomas Alter of Highland Park, Illinois. Alter is a former Madison resident whose husband, Jeremi Suri, was a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to Austin. Alter had worked at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters as well as at the UW-Madison Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE).
AUDIO: Lt. Jeff Farley :49
The kayakers failed to arrive at Eagle Harbor in Ephraim on Thursday afternoon, spurring a search by the sheriff’s department, Coast Guard and Department of Natural Resources. They were flown to Menominee, Michigan and were checked out by medical personnel.
Farley said the three were on vacation and were unfamiliar with conditions in the waters off Door County. “They’re not used to the large body of water and the wind,” Farley said. “The wind took them in a northerly direction, 17 miles from where they actually started.”