Ice edge breaks, teen plunges into Lake Michigan

Friends and bystanders rescued a man after the ice broke beneath him and he plunged into Lake Michigan late Sunday afternoon, said Sgt. Clint Holt of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.
Becky Vargo
Mar 3, 2013

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.

Comments

bucmom

We can all agree that the icebergs are NOT safe. Officer Holt confirms this. Why, then, does the Tribune post a picture of two young people and their dog having a great time out there? Nothing like promoting dangerous activities. Way to go Tribune...very irresponsible reporting!

Boater

Come on... It's called personal responsibility. The Trib isn't promoting dangerous activities.

christopher

@bucmom, in the case of this report, the picture just reinforces the fact that people do not necessarily use common sense when it comes to the power of our beautiful lake. People need to start respecting the power and danger of our natural resources.

I am not sure the Tribune should censor images because of people's bad behavior.

GH55

Its not really "bad" behavior, IMHO! If people did not push the envelope, so to speak, we would not have climbed Everest, or landed on the Moon or lived in a Space Station.
It is really a matter of accepting responsibility for your actions and not endangering others to come rescue you from your bad decisions!
I would not want my name in the paper for this either. Nooooooo, I have never been in any situation like this! He said never!

tequila news

I think the better headline would be "Gorgeous Native Eastsider Turned Westside Resident Takes Equally Lovely Inuit Friend and Dog to Grand Haven State Park."

Then somewhere at the bottom explain having fun on the ice at the edge of the beach is much less ridiculous an idea than jumping around willy-nilly on floating sandy ice, as you're much less likely to die. Thank you, ladies and dog, for setting a good example.

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