By PATTI KLEVORN
The Midwest Technical Recovery Team, based in Macomb County is volunteering its services during the Labor Day weekend to help locate the body of David Schmid. Schmid, who managed the Michigan Power cogeneration plant in Pere Marquette Township, is presumed drowned following a boating incident Sunday, Aug. 21 in Leelanau County’s Big Glen Lake.
Schmid was on a pontoon boat with his wife and daughters when his hat fell in the lake. One of his daughters went in after it and he jumped in after her, according to Leelanau County Undersheriff Scott Wooters. The second daughter also ended up in the water. According to Wooters, Schmid helped both of them to safety, back on the boat, and then went under.
The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office, with help from local fire departments and police departments, searched the lake for a week, and then called off the search.
Bill Robinette, who heads the team of volunteer divers, heard about the situation and asked how his team could help.
“I lost my father the same way, in a boating accident,” Robinette said. His body was not found immediately, and his family did not have closure, he said.
Hearing of other families facing the same tragedy brings back memories of his own loss. Diving is a way to do something to help others.
“It is gruesome work, but we see the benefit of it for the family,” he said. “It makes us feel good, and that’s what we’re about.”
The dive team is always seeking new divers, he said.
The diving is done on a volunteer basis, and any donations are used to help defray costs associated with the searches.
For more information, contact Bill at (586) 484-5670.