South Haven beach shut down after water rescues

Michigan

South Haven Area Emergency Services Fire Chief Ron Wise rescues a swimmer along the South Haven pier. (July 19, 2019)

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities shut down South Haven’s South Beach Friday after at least two water rescues within an hour.

South Haven Area Emergency Services Fire Chief Ron Wise rescued an 18-year-old man who got caught in a rip tide along the pier. A second swimmer struggling in the water was pulled to shore by a Good Samaritan.

  • Rescuer and swimmer in water with rope extended from pier
  • Rescuer and swimmer in water with rope extended from pier
  • Swimmer rests on South Haven pier surrounded by rescuers
  • Swimmers in Lake Michigan along South Haven pier
  • South Haven responders line rescue rope along pier
  • Swimmers in Lake Michigan along South Haven pier

SHAES responders stretched a rescue rope line along the pier to search for another possible victim, but determined there wasn’t one.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Cooldown coming | Beach and boating forecast

South Beach was packed at the time of the water rescues as people tried to cool down during an Excessive Heat Warning for much of West Michigan.

Red flags were flying at the beach Friday afternoon, but dozens of people were still in the water. The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety reported a similar situation at Grand Haven State Park.

Many people swimming in view of 3 red flags. Very dangerous.

Posted by Grand Haven Department of Public Safety on Friday, July 19, 2019

The United States Coast Guard urged beach visitors Friday be extra cautious, reminding all swimmers who get caught in a rip current to calmly tread water or swim parallel or at an angle to shore until they are out of the current’s grip.

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