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Charter Boat “KID A GIN” Sinks – Manistee, Michigan

A 29-foot charter boat carrying seven people reportedly collided with a pier in fog Saturday and sank. The passengers and crew were able to don life vests prior to abandoning the sinking vessel. Six persons were rescued from the water by a nearby vessel who heard their calls for help. Dense fog causing low visibility is suspected as a contributing factor in the accident. Michael Bachus, a 55 year old retired Marine Corps sergeant major, who reportedly was working as a mate on the KID A GIN, did not survive the accident. The Kid A Gin Charters website indicates that the Captain of the vessel, David Gramza, was a 25 year veteran of fishing on Lake Michigan. There are few safety regulations that apply to the operation of charter vessels such as the KID A GIN, and the Coast Guard indicates decisions about operating in adverse weather conditions are largely left up to the experience of the vessel operator.