Witnesses credit surfers for rescue of exhausted swimmer

A 17-year-old Grand Haven boy was rescued from Lake Michigan near Grand Haven's south pier just as Tuesday evening's storm started rumbling through the area. His name was not available. "Witnesses said, if it wasn't for the surfers, the kid probably wouldn't have been rescued,' said Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.
Becky Vargo
Aug 25, 2011

Emergency personnel responded to an alarm activated at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when witnesses pulled two life rings in an attempt to help the struggling swimmer, Freeman said. When police arrived on the scene, they saw several people in the water, including two surfers and a state park ranger, Freeman said. They were helping a younger person get to shore — and, at that point, were about 20 yards out, she said.

The youth was exhausted, but was talking and alert, and refused medical treatment, Freeman said.

There was a red flag flying at Grand Haven State Park on Tuesday, and the youth acknowledged that he probably shouldn’t have been swimming in the big waves, Freeman said.

“The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety would like to remind everyone to the dangers of inclement weather and the rip currents,” Freeman said. “Be mindful of the red flag warnings, and stay out of the water for your own safety and the safety of others.”

Comments

Karingh

surfers need to get more credit for all their rescues...GOOD JOB GUYS!

donna282

There was a red flag flying at Grand Haven State Park on Tuesday, and the youth acknowledged that he probably shouldn’t have been swimming in the big waves. Those red flags DO NOT mean please think about not swimming. They mean NO SWIMMING. Therefore this very lucky young man needs to be billed for the emergency personnels time they had to spend responding to his stupidity. Hes lucky that the surfers also decided to ignore the red flag warnings.

Fly on the Wall

Red flag means "Fudgie go home "
Red flag means "Surf's up, locals only"

aboysmom17

While most of us know what a red flag warning means...we don't always heed that warning. Such as what happened at the beach on Tues. evening to that 17 yr. old boy who was rescued. I'm certain that boy is grateful for being alive...for his friend who threw the first lifering and to the brave surfers that aided in his rescue. Without them a young and brillant life most certainly would have been lost. I'm also certain that that boys mother would gladly pay for the emergency personnels time as donna282 stated in her comment about that boys...what was it..oh yes...his stupidity. That boy made a mistake that evening but the only mistake in that is if something isn't learned by it. Shame on you donna282...I pray you are never on the receiving end of such a phone call as that mother received that evening or the fear that boy must have felt as he was fighting for his life in that rip current. I thank the Lord daily for sparing that boys life...............................I am "that boys" MOTHER

aboysmom17

While most of us know what a red flag warning means...we don't always heed that warning. Such as what happened at the beach on Tues. evening to that 17 yr. old boy who was rescued. I'm certain that boy is grateful for being alive...for his friend who threw the first lifering and to the brave surfers that aided in his rescue. Without them a young and brillant life most certainly would have been lost. I'm also certain that that boys mother would gladly pay for the emergency personnels time as donna282 stated in her comment about that boys...what was it..oh yes...his stupidity. That boy made a mistake that evening but the only mistake in that is if something isn't learned by it. Shame on you donna282...I pray you are never on the receiving end of such a phone call as that mother received that evening or the fear that boy must have felt as he was fighting for his life in that rip current. I thank the Lord daily for sparing that boys life...............................I am "that boys" MOTHER

donna282

Shame on me for what????? Pointing out the obvious??? Sorry if it upset you but your son (lets make it kinder and gentler) made a bad choice. Whatever. Your opening sentence says it all
"While most of us know what a red flag warning means...we don't always heed that warning."
Maybe you and your family ignore red flag warnings but me and my family do not. I stand by my previous post, I think people who ignore the red flags and need to be rescued should either have to pay or be charged with reckless endangerment. There is no consequences for ignoring a red flag warning except for those who pay the ultimate price of losing their life. My opinion is there should be some kind of punishment for this. Its my opinion and I have a right to express it. Im glad your son was rescued and I honestly wish you both the best and Im sure it was lesson learned for him

aboysmom17

Your "whatever" says it all....please reread previous post and remember....
To Err Is Human..............

Jimfromoutoftown

Donna282, you are out of line. Take your judgment and lack of tact elsewhere. People make errors. Clearly, your last name is "Perfect" and that is hard for you to understand. So much more to say here... but frankly, you're not worth my time or thought.

On a more positive note, I am so very happy for the family and the boy that this was a happy ending. Way to go surfer dudes!

donna282

Im sorry you all feel i have no right to express myself, I never claimed to be perfect and I never wished anyone any harm. The point i was trying to make was that the red flag warnings are being ignored by a lot of people and there have been deaths because of it. I just feel that I wish there was some way of punishing people who ignore them . I certainly dont want that to be the death of anyone. Im sorry if you felt i was wishing anyone ill will. Im certainly glad this young man survived and will be around for his family and friends.

Fly on the Wall

People should be punished for ignoring red flag warnings? Isn't death a suitable punishment? Or fear of death? Or public humiliation in the comments section of the website of a small town newspaper?

We risk those things every time we go into heavy surf. We risk those things every time we cross the street in the middle of the block. We risk those things every time we roll through a stop sign on our bicycle.

These are the daily chances we are taking as we live life. To be punished for trying to live as we see fit, without victimizing others, is to take away the zest that makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning. It takes away the surfer's opportunity to be a hero, it takes away all opportunity for reward, and I put it to you, donna282, that without risk there is no reward.

This country's greatness was built on risks. Our freedom was built on risks. We are still the freest country on earth, and will be until punitive busybodies try to legislate opportunity out of reach.
Donna282, why do you hate America?

donna282

Fly, I dont hate America. Its obvious that opinions are not always going to be the same. I respect your right to your opinion but this is getting tiresome so this is my farewell to the whole subject. Heading downtown for a ProntoPup and some ice cream at Temptations. I wish you great rewards for the risks that you choose to take in your life. Best regards to you all Donna

Jimfromoutoftown

We should probably punish you for taking the risk of elevating your risk of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol! How dare you eat that unhealthy food and in turn have an unhealthy body!! Your poor health will raise health premiums for all!

BTW- This is a joke to make a point that punishing red flag swimmers is ridiculous.

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