MUNISING, Mich. (WJMN) – National Park Service officials confirmed to Local 3 News on Monday that the body of Jame Bake had been recovered after days of searching along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising.

Authorities tell us Bake’s body was found on Sunday. According to a release from the National Park Service, weather and wave conditions on Sunday allowed a drone, piloted by someone from the Alger County Sheriff’s Department was able to find Bake’s body. It was approximately 30 yards from the shoreline.

“Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore staff are saddened by this loss,” stated Superintendent David Horne, “and our entire community extends sincere condolences to Mr. Bake’s family and friends.”

Bake had been missing since Tuesday, February 7. The original details of the investigation are below.


Authorities in Alger County are actively involved in a rescue operation near Miner’s Castle along the Lake Superior shoreline of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Alger County dispatch confirms that one person fell from the area of Miner’s Castle and at this time has not been located. We contacted dispatch shortly after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday. As of 7:36 p.m. there were no updates from authorities.

Susan Reece with the National Park Service said on Wednesday morning that search efforts are continuing in the daylight.

On Wednesday afternoon, the following update was provided by the National Park Service.

An ice climber was reported missing on evening of February 7, 2023 at 5:15 PM. The climber has been identified as James Bake of Gaylord, Michigan, age 32.

The National Park Service, along with other federal and state agencies to include the United States Coast Guard, Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals (SHARP), and Alger Country Rescue 21, responded to the Miners Castle area of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter responded from Air Station Traverse City as well an ice rescue team from Small Boat Station Marquette. The multi-agency response began during the evening hours of February 7th, 2023. Mr. Bake was climbing when waves resulted in his fall from an icy rock ledge into Lake Superior. The National Park Service and the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing their investigation and monitoring the situation pending further development.  

We asked for clarification as to the search efforts of the investigation. NPS officials say the search will continue on land, but not by water or air.

Miners Castle as seen from the upper viewing platform NPS photo

Miner’s Castle is a popular tourist attraction at the National Lakeshore. This is not the first time is recent years that there have been falls in the area. A dog was rescued in July of 2022. In July of 2021 a man fell to his death from Miner’s Castle.