LUDINGTON — Michael Douglas, the man who died in an industrial accident on board the PM 41 barge Sunday, had worked for Pere Marquette Shipping since 2006, a company spokeswoman said today.
“We are deeply saddened to report that an accident took place aboard the Pere Marquette 41, Sunday, November 3 resulting in the death of respected crew member, Michael Douglas also known as, ‘Tall Mike’ to his friends and ship mates aboard the Undaunted,” said Terri Brown. The Undaunted is the tug that pushes the PM 41.
“Michael was a devoted family man who always missed his family while at sea, but sailed as a means to provide for them. Michael worked for Pere Marquette since 2006 and served as equipment mechanic for over 4 years. He was a great employee and supportive ship mate. He was an avid outdoor sportsman and a particularly gifted fisherman, and shared those skills with his wife and children.
“Mike was a valued member of the crew and was highly respected by everyone on board. In the simple yet meaningful expression of those who go down to the sea in ships, “he was a good shipmate” and will be sorely missed. The management and crew of Pere Marquette Shipping express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Michael Douglas.”
The accident occurred while the barge was on Lake Michigan hauling ash from Muskegon to Charlevoix.
Investigation at the scene, along with witness statements, indicated Douglas was conducting mechanical maintenance on a conveyor system when he became entangled in the machine. The captain of the Undaunted notified the U.S. Coast Guard and law enforcement. The tug was directed to its home port of Ludington.
The initial troopers on the scene conducted interviews and crime scene investigation on board the barge and vessel. Troopers on scene were assisted by Ludington Police Department, Ludington Fire Department, victim services units from Mason and Oceana counties and the Mason County Medical Examiner’s Office.