Man missing in Lake Michigan ID’d; search suspended

Michigan
ludington water rescue

Emergency responders at Ludington State Park after a man went missing in the water on July 25, 2019. (Gregory Schroder/ReportIt)

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) — Crews have suspended their search of Lake Michigan at Ludington State Park for a father who was swept out into the water while swimming with his family.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office identified the missing man Friday as 38-year-old Brian Herrmann of Brighton. He was last seen in Lake Michigan near the mouth of the Sable River, which authorities say is especially dangerous because of stronger currents caused by higher river levels.

Investigators say Hermann was swimming with his family when they began to struggle in the water. His two children and wife were rescued by other beachgoers.

At 4:30 p.m., the sheriff’s office announced crews searching for Hermann were docking their boats because of deteriorating weather conditions. Authorities say shoreline searches are also being suspended until Saturday because of the dangerous surf churned up by higher winds. The sheriff’s office says Michigan State Police have also pulled their underwater autonomous vehicle out of Lake Michigan for safety reasons.

The sheriff’s office said while Ludington State Park’s beaches are open Friday, the Sable River outlet is closed to swimmers until water levels drop and conditions improve. Lakeshore visitors are encouraged to monitor beach hazard reports.

Hermann is the second person to drown in Ludington State Park this week. On Tuesday, the body of 18-year-old Daniel McCarthy of Baldwin was recovered after a search that lasted nearly two days. A remote-controlled underwater robot came across his body in about 18 feet of water about 300 yards from shore at Ludington State Park.

Last week, 14-year-old Albrianna Jane Huck disappeared while visiting Stearns Beach with relatives. Two hours later, good Samaritans spotted Albrianna in the water north of Stearns Park, pulled her to shore and began CPR. She died at a hospital later that night.

Authorities advise any swimmers caught in an outlet current to swim parallel to shore until they are free of the current’s pull. From there, they can make their way back to shore.

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