“If someone fell in, we would do our best,” said Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer Ryan Dalman. “You have about 3-5 minutes before losing dexterity in water this cold.”
The police officers looked unhappy as they watched a young man walk out on the icebergs forming along the Lake Michigan Shoreline.
“The sand mixed with the snow – you just don’t have stable ice,” Dalman said. “It’s junk.”
“The high ridges out there are all undermined by the waves,” he said. “The only thing they got going for them it is not very deep.”
Grand Rapids residents Shawn Weeks and Brittany Begerow worked their way up the beach back toward the cars, pulled along by their dog, Ares.
“It’s definitely a site to see, Begerow said of the ice formations.
“We went out there a little bit, then she fell through and got scared,” Weeks said.
Begerow lifted one leg to show she was just a little bit wet.
“I went up to my ankle – not bad,” she said. “It’s just cold.”
Former Grand Haven resident Samantha Ralya and her friend Dustin McSweyn, both of Saginaw, worked against the bitter wind to try to get a picture of themselves with the waves breaking over the ice in the background.
They stayed within the safety of shore.
“I never go out on the icebergs,” Ralya said.
After police left the campground parking lot at Grand Haven State Park, a half dozen people ventured onto the icy pier as the light started to wane.
Three of them stopped halfway out, after one of them slipped, but managed to stay upright.
The other three people made their way to the end of the pier where they watched the waves break over the icy edge. The catwalk lights illuminated before the threesome completed their outward journey.