Names of river boating accident victims released.

October 12, 2018

Names of river boating accident victims released.

#ManisteeCountyNews.

NORMAN TOWNSHIP — The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the three men involved in a boating accident, which resulted in a death, Thursday morning, Oct. 11. Michael Robert Kovich, 65, of Waterford, died, presumably from drowning, after the boat he was riding on the Big Manistee River, overturned, about one mile upriver from Highbridge boat launch. The other men involved in the incident included Tim Babb, 61, of Wasbash, Ind., and Jeffrey Rains, 53, of Hilliard, Ohio. Babb and Rains were transported to Munson Health Manistee Hospital by ambulance where they were both treated and released.

According to the sheriff’s office, emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene about 9:06 a.m. where a boat had struck a submerged tree, tossing the three male occupants overboard.

Undersheriff Kenneth Falk said Babb and Rains were able to swim to shore but Kovich was not. CPR was initiated by the two other men. Manistee County Animal Control Officer JR Nelson arrived on scene and used a bystander’s boat to transport the man to the boat launch, where he was turned over to EMS.

Falk said preliminary investigation has indicated that life jackets were not worn by any of the men and alcohol was not believed to be a factor. An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted by the Manistee County Medical Examiner.

Responding to the scene was the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Munson Health Manistee Hospital EMS, Manistee City Fire Department, Dickson Township Fire Department, and Norman Township Fire Department.