Crews spend Labor Day making sure people are safe

Southwest Michigan

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — As people flocked to West Michigan beaches this Labor Day weekend, many first responders spent the day working to keep everyone safe on the water.

Dawn Hinz, a firefighter and paramedic with South Haven Area Emergency Services, was standing by to rescue boaters or swimmers in distress.

“It’s just another day for us,” Hinz said. “We’ll serve the community today (Monday) as well as any other day.”

Green flag conditions made for a quiet holiday in South Haven.

However, authorities were reminding people of the potential dangers even when the weather is ideal.

They did not have to make any water rescues this weekend, but crews did pull someone from the water just before 5 p.m. on Thursday.

“One of our crews had to rescue a kayaker who was windsurfing and kayaking at the same time. His lines got tangled up, he got exhausted — lost his oar. By the time our crews got to him, he had no strength left to even hold on to the paddle,” Hinz said.

Higher water levels also meant more boats had to wait for the Bascule Bridge to go up in downtown South Haven to get their boats through the channel this Labor Day.

Isabel Brissman and her husband traveled from Cincinnati to visit South Haven and were delighted by the Labor Day weather.

“We love it,” Brissman said. “We’re trying to delay leaving as much as possible.”

They spent the morning relaxing on the beach enjoying the views of Lake Michigan.

“I feel like everything has been pretty calm. Waves haven’t been aggressive at all,” Brissman said.

Lake Michigan will begin to cool off as we start seeing fall-like conditions.

First responders are reminding people to be especially aware of the temperature to avoid the risk of hypothermia.

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