Michael Trapp Crashes Small Plane Into Lake Huron, Treads Water for 18 Hours to Survive (VIDEO)

Posted Jul 28th 2011 03:10 PMUpdated Jul 28th 2011 04:22 PM




A New York man was forced to tread water for a whopping 18 hours in Lake Huron after his 2-seat Cessna plane crashed into the lake.

42-year-old Michael Trapp swam in Lake Huron without a life jacket for nearly a day as he "wasn't ready to die yet," the Associated Press reports.

The auto mechanic from Gouverneur, New York, left home on Tuesday to attend a family reunion in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He decided to fly his own plane because a round-trip ticket cost $922. "I said: I can fly there and back for 400 bucks and I wanted to do it," Trapp told reporters while recovering at a Saginaw hospital.

All was fine with the flight as he crossed over Canada, but the plane's engine started to sputter over Michigan. He contacted flight officials in Lansing to tell them he was going down while the plane was at 3,000 feet, Trapp told local Fox affiliate WWNY. He crashed near Harbor Beach, 105 miles north of Detroit.

"I just kept struggling and struggling," he said. He told reporters that he tried to use a credit card to reflect the sun to get the attention of nearby boats.

"It's amazing what goes on in your mind when you're laying in water and you look up at the skies and watch the shooting stars and watch meteorites go round. Gives you time to realize what's important in life at that point," Trapp told local New York station WWNY-TV while recovering.

Finally, at around 10:20am on Wednesday, Dean and Diane Petitpren, a couple from Grosse Pointe Farms near Detroit, saw him waving his sock in the water and took him aboard their yacht.

Pilot Crashes in Lake Huron, Swam 18 Hours

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Ahhhhhh, re-al-a-tea show????

July 29 2011 at 6:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is it some people can only blame God for the bad things that happen, but can't give Him thanks for the good??? What a dull old world this would be if He were to make sure everything turned out the way we wanted....and what a jam-packed old world it would be if no one ever died.

July 29 2011 at 6:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amazing how we pay the Coast Gaurd Millions of dollars while they sit around all day or flying over our homes looking for excuses to send police to tax payers homes. But a pilot radios in and they never send help, I hope all you Coasties collecting your welfare checks post 18 years full retirement are happy! There's anouther place to CUT our cost, because they certainly are no use!

July 29 2011 at 5:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not very smart to fly over large bodies of water in a 50 year old plane without a life jacket. If he didn't have time to activate the emergency beacon after the crash, why didn't he activate it before he went in - he knew he was going down. Very luck guy, though, that water is cold even in the summer.

July 29 2011 at 5:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Clearly he has only our Lord and only Savior Jesus Christ to thank. Praise God. In God We Trust. God Bless America.

July 29 2011 at 4:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to patriot1too's comment

Clearly he has only his ability to tread water to thank. He can thank Jesus for making his plane crash if he wants.

July 29 2011 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this last year i fliped a truk shot through the windshield went 3o feet up into pine trees hit the ground and the truck rolled over me. i suffered a tramatic brain injury,broke both shoulders all my ribs and folded my leg up to my face. the docs all told me 2 year min befor i could walk and talk again. well her i am running riding bikes skateboarding sometime though i wonder about plans god has. why would he let a krazy lady cook a baby in the microwave?

July 29 2011 at 3:21 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Dear Mike: What an incredible testament for the sacredness of life,and what it meant to you. What an incredible person to be able to keep fighting on all those long, longely hours. I know the Lord God was watching over and holding you up and giviing you strenghth. To him be the Glory. Now, ther emust be sometrhing ver imprtant for you to do here on planet earth. You were saved for a reson. I would love to know what the next few months or year brings you. I have had many near disaster experiences myself, but your's really inspires the what fight there may be left iin me.

Glod Bless And Keep You Safe.


Rev. Laura

Blessings . . .

Rev. Lajra

July 29 2011 at 2:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This man's struggle to survive is a beautiful testament to the determination and will of human beings to survive against all odds. It also speaks of strength, courage and resourcefulness. Recover quickly, Michael.

July 29 2011 at 2:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sara Sexna

Michael Trapp Crashes Small Plane Into Lake Huron, http://goo.gl/TTa0t

July 29 2011 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I believe he also broke FAA regulations: A single engine plane has to be within gliding distance of shore unless he has floatation gear on board his aircraft. Nice try getting the attention of boats reflecting the sun off of a credit card. Probably didnt have enough reflectivity - not much more than the ripples in the water. good though he's alive

July 29 2011 at 1:44 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply