Searches for missing men ended; CG issues warning

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:10 AM

Emergency personnel stopped searching Sunday afternoon for an 18-year-old kayaker who capsized late Saturday afternoon on Lake Michigan near New Buffalo. He slipped from his life jacket and disappeared, officials said. Two other kayakers were rescued.

A search was also suspended Sunday evening for a 33-year-old Zeeland-area resident who went from Lake Macatawa onto Lake Michigan on a personal watercraft Saturday morning and failed to return.

In the Traverse City area, a 59-year-old Northport man rowing a dinghy to get to his sailboat in the vicinity of the Leelanau Peninsula also disappeared, according to a Coast Guard official.

The man missing in the Holland area is the founder of a personal watercraft sales and repair business. Kevin Bruins, owner of PWC Technology, took his stand-up personal watercraft onto the lake at the Holland pier heads Saturday morning. The 33-year-old Zeeland-area resident hasn’t returned, and his vehicle and trailer were found at a public launch site Sunday morning.

“The family is pretty numb,” the Rev. Jonathan Elgersma, senior pastor at Faith Church in Zeeland, told The Holland Sentinel.

Bruins and his wife have three young boys, Elgersma said.

Sheriff’s department teams from Allegan and Ottawa counties, the U.S. Coast Guard, Holland police, and others have been searching the lakeshore and beaches for any sign of Bruins. He was last seen wearing a black neoprene wet suit, a gray float jacket and black helmet.

Debris from a personal watercraft was found inside the Holland pier heads on Sunday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies examined the scene and said they found that it matched the description of the personal watercraft used by Bruins.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department also recovered a full face helmet on the beach north of the pier heads, which was identified as belonging to Bruins.

Late Sunday evening, the Coast Guard suspended its search pending further developments.

— Compiled from Associated Press and U.S. Coast Guard reports

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

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