Teen presumed drowned in Grand Haven, search suspended

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A teenage boy who was swimming in the lake at Grand Haven State Park on Sunday is presumed to have drowned, police say.

Crews began searching for the missing boy around 3:40 p.m. The water search was suspended for the day around 8:30 p.m., but police say they will continue to search the beach throughout the night. Dive teams with Ottawa County and the Michigan State Police will continue the water search Monday morning.

Police say the teen is a 14-year-old boy of Grand Rapids. He was last seen in the water at the swim buoys near sign 3 at the state park, Grand Haven police say.

“We have information for his last position, but unfortunately with the currents that are present — the long-shore currents and then the rip currents down by the pier — things can change very rapidly,” said Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hawke.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter made several passes above the search area on Sunday and people at the beach formed a human chain in an effort to find the missing teen.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety were also on the scene.

Police say red flags were flying overhead, indicating dangerous water conditions to swimmers. They say the currents made the search for the teen challenging. 

“Search conditions are extremely difficult. We’ve been searching for about two hours. We’re hoping and praying for the best, but we’re going to continue to search,” Hawke said.

Ottawa County officials have been warning of strong rip currents on the lake. The beach’s south pier was closed after several people were swept into the water over the weekend. Another person was swept off the pier in South Haven.

News 8’s Whitney Burney contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links