Professor Randy Schmidt Rescues Plane Crash Pilot in Lake Michigan

As Pilot is Rescued, Families Still Hoping for More Survivors
Jeff Seidel et al.
Detroit Free Press
July 24, 2010

Randall Schmidt and his wife, Kristin Berg, were aboard their 42-foot cabin cruiser, the Kristin Says, Friday morning when they heard the call over the radio.

A fisherman reported about 10:15 a.m. that a plane had crashed in the waters of Lake Michigan about 5 to 8 miles off the coast of Ludington.

The University of Chicago law professor from Park Ridge, Ill., and his wife -- on a weeklong trip -- adjusted course to the crash site, trolling the waters for any hint of survivors.

Just before noon, Schmidt slowed his boat down to about 10 knots, when Berg spotted a man in the water about 20 yards away.

"Man overboard!" she screamed. "Man overboard!"

Schmidt stopped the boat, grabbed the life ring and opened the swim platform.

"We see you," Berg yelled. "We'll get you."

Schmidt turned the boat, trying to maneuver the swim platform to him.

"He was upright in the water. He looked up. He never waved or anything. He had his arms crossed," Schmidt said.

Berg threw the life ring and he grabbed it.

"We pulled him onto my swim platform," Schmidt said.

Randall D. Schmidt