MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis family is thankful to be alive after their canoe capsized Tuesday evening in the cold waters of Lake Superior.

It happened along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where they were camping.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is best seen from the waters of Lake Superior, which is where a Minneapolis couple took a young daughter and friend out for an evening paddle.

“There was a storm coming in from the south, winds picking up and waves picking up,” said Capt. Matt Waldron, with the Alger County Sheriff’s Department in Munising, Michigan.

That turn in the weather capsized the family’s canoe Tuesday around 8:30 p.m. Fortunately, all were in life vests and survived a cold, 150-foot swim to the remote shore.

“We got reports earlier in the day the water temperature in Lake Superior in that area was between 36 and 38 degrees,” Waldron said.

A passing tour boat, the last one of the night, caught a glimpse of yellow along the rocky coast and radioed for help.

“We activated our rescue team which responded with two vessels to the scene,” Waldron said.

This is video as Yony and Tabithah Polinske and the 5- and 7-year-old children were rescued taken by pontoon to a sheriff’s patrol boat for a 20-minute ride to town.

“All of them were displaying signs of hypothermia but were evaluated in the Munising hospital and released that evening,” Waldron said.

A family friend says all are recovering from an ordeal that cost them keys, a canoe and cellphones but so easily could have taken their lives.

Last August, a Wisconsin father and three young children died after their kayak capsized in the Apostle Islands.

Park rangers discourage all canoeing on Lake Superior due to cold water and unpredictable waves.

Bill Hudson

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