Surfers help rescue kiteboarder at Grand Haven State Park

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:05 PM

There wasn’t enough wind to get the kite back into the air, so the Grand Haven man started working his way back to shore.

“Luckily he knows what he’s doing,” said his friend, Tucker VanTol, who rushed down the beach to help him. “He made it most of the way by himself.”

People at the Grand Haven State Park beach saw Mitchell struggling through the large waves and called 911 shortly before noon Thursday.

“It was rough going out there,” Mitchell admitted. “There’s definitely a rip current.”

A couple of surfers attracted to the shore by the big waves helped Mitchell back to solid ground.

“He was already almost back to shore when we got here,” said park employee Paul Vargo.

Officers from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety also responded, but Mitchell was back on shore before they put anybody into the water.

The Coast Guard was alerted, but turned back when officials realized the kiteboarder was safe.

Mitchell said he and VanTol brought their kite boards to the beach after the storm front went through the area.

They were both disgruntled that the wind died down so quick.

Vargo said conditions in Lake Michigan were definitely red flag with rip currents.

“You can see it where the water looks like it’s dirty,” he said.


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