Alcohol played a role in man jumping from ship.

August 25, 2015

Alcohol was a factor in the death of a man who jumped off the deck of a freighter early Sunday morning, according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole. The man was seen jumping from the deck of the Stewart J. Cort around 2 a.m. by two witnesses, Cole said. One of the witnesses was the first mate who had earlier confined the man to his room due to the company’s zero tolerance alcohol policy.

Because the incident took place within the navigational boundaries of Mason County, it falls within the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office. Three MCSO detectives and a deputy traveled to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to interview the 20-plus member crew Monday morning. Cole said the captain and company officials have been very cooperative in the investigation. The incident took place between 3 to 4 miles west of Big Sable Point.

The man, who was wearing blue jeans and a bright yellow shirt, was not wearing a lifejacket. His name, age and job tiltle were not available.

The Cort is a 989-foot, U.S.-flagged freighter that was built in 1971 and is owned by the Interlake Steamship Company. It is currently traveling from Burns Harbor, Indiana to Supeior, Wisconsin.


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