Keweenaw County deputy receives lifesaving award

EAGLE HARBOR, Mich. (WZMQ) – A Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputy is being honored for his lifesaving actions earlier this summer.

Deputy Matt Eberly (left) and Sheriff Curt Pennala (right) [Courtesy: Keweenaw Co. Sheriff’s Office]

On Sunday, June 19, the KCSO was called to Eagle Harbor for a report of a person in a canoe past the bell buoy that appeared to be having difficulty making it back to the harbor. Shortly after the initial call, it was reported that the canoe sank and the person was in distress.

Eagle Harbor Fire and medical first responders were first on the scene. With help from local residents, deputies, and two private boats, a search began around the bell buoy. Due to stormy conditions, including high waves, strong winds, and lightning, the search crew had to return to the dock.

Deputy Matt Eberly, who is also a veteran that served with the U.S. Marines, a retired conservation officer, and is currently with the KSCO, was on ATV patrol that day when he heard the initial call.

Deputy Eberly launched the sheriff’s office’s Rescue PWC Watercraft and went to the harbor to help.

With the help of onlookers in the lighthouse, Deputy Eberly located the person out of the water, lying in a fetal position after 45 minutes of searching. Deputy Eberly secured the person to the PWC watercraft and took them back to the harbor, where additional rescue personnel were ready to assist.

The person was taken to a local hospital where they were treated for severe hypothermia and water intake and later released.

“It is without a doubt that a life was saved that day, thanks to the quick actions and outstanding performance put forth by Deputy Eberly,” said Sheriff Curt Pennala. “We would like to thank Deputy Eberly for his service to our Country and the County of Keweenaw.”