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Teen's body recovered from Lake Michigan

WZZM-TV • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:55 PM

The girl was last seen struggling in the water nearly 100 yards off the shore at Pere Marquette Beach Friday afternoon.

The girl was not from the area. She was visiting Muskegon with her family when she became caught in a rip current with her younger sister, along with two other teens.

One of those teens hopes his story will help others understand just how dangerous a simple trip to the beach can be.

Charlie Smith and his girlfriend Morgan took a quick trip to Pere Marquette Friday for a routine swim. "We probably went in about waist deep, and we didn't notice we were getting pulled out until we couldn't touch anymore," said Charlie.

Charlie says he swims well, and knew to swim parallel to the shoreline as he tried to get Morgan's attention about the rip current he was starting to feel. "She said, there were two girls over there...they were pushing each other under trying to breathe."

Charlie and Morgan swam closer to try to help the 15-year-old girl and her younger sister, but Morgan got too close.

"One of them started panicking. She was trying to get on top of my girlfriend to gasp for air." Charlie pulled Morgan out of the way, then tried to get to the two girls. "They couldn't calm down. They wouldn't listen to me. I was like, even if you can't swim, you've got to try, your life is on the line right now."

Charlie wasn't able to get a grip on either one of them, and as Morgan started struggling to keep her head above water, he had to make the decision to take her back to the shore.

"I feel bad about this, but there was nothing I could do; otherwise we would all be dead."

"I couldn't believe they almost didn't come home," said his mother, Anne. Now, Charlie's family is trying to help him process what happened, while they mourn for what the family of the two sisters are going through. "It's something that's going to lay hard on their minds the rest of their lives."

Charlie added, "It can happen to anybody."

We will let you know as soon as we hear any developments on the search.

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