Two swimmers rescued near Holland pier on Sunday

Area residents are again being warned about the dangers of swimming off Lake Michigan piers after two people were rescued off Holland's north pier on Sunday. A deputy in an Ottawa County Sheriff's Department marine patrol boat was summoned by people on the pier about 6:30 p.m. when a 13-year-old boy jumped off the pier and got in trouble with the current, OCSD Sgt. Keith Koeman said. A 20-year-old acquaintance of the boy jumped in to help, but was not a strong swimmer, and the current started to carry him away from the pier, Koeman said.
AP Wire
Jun 28, 2011


The deputy threw a life ring to the boy who was then able to get back to the pier on his own, Koeman said. The deputy then threw a boat bumper to the man, seconds before he would have drowned, Koeman said.

“Even with the bumper the subject went under the water just seconds before the deputy was able to grab him,” Koeman said.

The man was taken aboard the patrol boat to the Coast Guard dock, where he was given oxygen by waiting medical personnel. The man refused further treatment and was released, Koeman said.

During that time, pier bystanders continued to throw life rings to other swimmers who were having trouble with the current, Koeman said.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department reminds people that Lake Michigan piers are aids to navigation and are dangerous to swim from because there are unseen rocks and structural currents along them.

“Second, if you are an untrained rescuer, do not enter the water — as you may become a second victim,” Koeman said.


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