Grand Haven pier closed after wave sweeps 2 into Lake Michigan

Ottawa County
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A red flag warns swimmers to stay out of Lake Michigan. (File)

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities have shut down Grand Haven’s south pier after a large wave knocked two people into Lake Michigan.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety says two teenagers from Lake Orion were near the second lighthouse at the end of the pier when a wave from the north channel side hit them from behind, sweeping them into the water.

The 18-year-old man and 17-year-old woman treaded water until a bystander threw them a life ring. Good Samaritans then pulled them back onto the pier.

An alarm triggered by the life ring deployment alerted dispatchers to the emergency around 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Paramedics treated the man at the scene for minor injuries to his arm.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawk says the rescue is a reminder of the power of Lake Michigan’s waves and quickly-changing conditions.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids earlier warned about hazardous swimming conditions in Lake Michigan Saturday, adding that north piers will be “especially dangerous.”

People are asked to stay out of the water when red flags are flying at the beach and stay off piers if waves are washing over the structure.

Grand Haven’s South Pier will remain closed until conditions approve.

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