David Schmid, a 49-year-old Ludington man disappeared after jumping into the water to help his daughter on Big Glen Lake on August 21, 2005. Schmid was on a pontoon boat with his wife and two daughters when his hat fell in the lake. One of his daughters went in after it and he jumped in after her. His head went under and he didn’t resurface.
Schmid’s parents lived on the narrows at Glen Lake and his sister said he spent some of his favorite times there. He was born and raised in Saginaw and served six years in the U.S. Navy before eventually settling in Ludington, where he was a plant manager for Michigan Power.
Divers started a weeklong search for Schmid that day, but authorities called off the search after a week without finding his body. Search crews used side-scan sonar devices to survey the east side of the lake around the depth indicated by witnesses at the scene. But Charles Belanger, marine patrol commander with the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department, said the large search area, poor visibility and deep, cold water hindered divers’ efforts. Investigators said an adult-sized yellow personal flotation device that was thrown from Schmid’s boat was never recovered.
The Midwest Technical Recovery Team, based in Macomb County, volunteered its services during the Labor Day weekend 2005 to help locate Schmid’s body, but sadly, their efforts did not succeed.
Searches for Schmid the following year revealed the location of a “shipwreck” that is somewhat of a local legend. Ralph Dorsey’s passenger steamboat, Rescue, which he sank intentionally in 1914, was reportedly located by divers in 124 feet of water.