Ice edge breaks, teen plunges into Lake Michigan

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:17 PM

The 18-year-old Grand Haven man’s name was not revealed.

“He was treated for hypothermia,” Holt said. “He was otherwise OK.

“We were about 5-8 feet from ice edge of the lake, said one 17-year-old boy, who declined to give his name. “A big wave came up and hit the ice underneath and broke it off. He went in with it.”

The teen said his friend was able to climb up onto a chunk of floating ice, fell off and was able to get onto another chunk. The waves pushed him back toward the ice pack and the victim was able to grab a belt extended to him.

The 17-year-old said people called 911 and another guy helped him pull his friend to safety. The victim was able to walk back to the City Beach parking lot where emergency officials were gathering.

Holt said it’s really not safe anywhere out there on the ice pack.

“That ice out there is really bad anyway, because it’s mixed with dirt. It’s crumbly,” he said.

“You’ll see where there’s multiple ridges. That’s pack ice that collects on the sand bars. The ice in between is really bad as well.

Holt said that’s where the deeper water is in between the sandbars.

“There’s currents running through there,” he said. “It depends on how cold it is and what way the wind is blowing,” that has effects on the ice’s stability.

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