Waterford Man drowns in Big Manistee River

MANISTEE, MI – Michael Robert Kovich, 65-years-old, of Waterford, is being identified as the person who drown yesterday in the Big Manistee River.Sheriff

Michael Kovich, Tim Babb, 61-years-old, of Wabash, Indiana and Jeffrey Rains, 53-years-old, of Hillard, Ohio, were traveling on the Big Manistee River when their boat hit a submerged tree, tossing all 3 overboard at approximately 9:00AM Thursday, October 11th, 2018.

Babb and Rains were able to swim to shore.  They pulled Kovich from the river and started CPR. Mainstee Animal Control Officer JR Nelson was able to get into a citizens boat where he traveled to the scene. Upon arrival he took over CPR. They loaded Michael Kovich into the boat that Nelson arrived in and they went to the Highbridge Boat Launch where the victim was transferred over to EMS.

The preliminary investigation indicated that no life jackets were worn by any of the three men and alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the accident.

The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Michigan State Police, Munson Manistee Hospital EMS, Manistee City Fire/EMS, Dickson Township Fire/EMS, and Normal Township Fire/EMS.

The incident remains under investigation.

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