SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — A West Michigan emergency services department has a new tool to help with water rescues, especially after the past year.

In 2020, over 50 people drowned in Lake Michigan making it the deadliest year on record.

Just last summer, South Haven Area Emergency Services responded to 23 water rescue-related calls. That number is the highest they said they’ve seen in the past 10 years.

That’s why they’re looking forward to their new specialized drone that will enhance the rescue process.

“We had a significant increase last year,” said Brandon Hinz, the Executive Director for South Haven Area Emergency Services.

In 2020, South Haven Area Emergency Services responded to three drownings and over 20 calls for water rescues.

Through a new specialized drone, rescuers now have new capabilities that will help assist them in those situations.

“We ordered a drone that has an infrared camera that can hopefully spot swimmers in distress in the lake. We can also use it for search and…