Rip conditions plague Holland State Park, spare GH

Rip currents that took hold of more than 20 people at Holland State Park on Wednesday weren't as severe in Grand Haven, officials said. Melissa VanderVelde, the acting supervisor for Grand Haven State Park, said the issues that plagued Holland State Park on Wednesday did not effect Grand Haven's beach. "The wind was coming out of the north, so the pier was protecting us,' she said.
Mark Brooky
Aug 4, 2011

 

According to WZZM-TV, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources closed the beach at Holland State Park two hours early Wednesday night because of dangerous rip current conditions in Lake Michigan. DNR officers instructed people to get out of the water and leave the beach area about 7:30 p.m., according to WZZM-TV. The beach normally closes around 9:30 p.m.

In Holland, VanderVelde said the pier is to the south of the park, which is what helped cause some of the dangerous rip currents there.

“We’re currently flying a green flag today, so we should hopefully not have any issues,” she said.

A U.S. Coast Guard chief petty officer from Harker’s Island, N.C. — currently assigned as the officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Holland — and numerous other local authorities saved at least 28 people from a dangerous wind-driven current next to the Holland beach pier head on Wednesday.

When Chief Petty Officer Mark Rose learned the weather conditions were ideal for dangerous current formation at the Holland beach on Wednesday afternoon, he headed there to see for himself.

“There are plenty of signs posted all around the pier head and even in the water, warning folks to stay away from the rip current areas,” Rose said. “However, on a day like this — when conditions are ideal and the weather is hot — I knew there were going to be people in trouble.”

The U.S. Coast Guard and WZZM-TV contributed to this report.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

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