Beachgoers Form Human Chain In Hopes of Rescuing Distressed Swimmers

Two people recently lost their lives after a huge waved crashed into the Grand Haven State Park Beach last Sunday. The Grand Haven Department of Safety says that two people are dead, one is in serious condition, and two are now in stable condition.

The rescuers were called to the beach around noon after reports of a struggling swimmer near the State Pavilion Park Building. An off-duty firefighter entered the water and was joined by five public safety officers and a park ranger.

Bystanders assisted in the search by forming a human chain. They stood with arms linked in hopes of caging off and locating the victim. The man was eventually found and has been identified as 64-year-old, David Knaffle from Wyoming.

Bystanders later pulled a 46-year-old Alto man from the water around 3 p.m. He was admitted to North Ottawa Community Health Center where he is listed in serious condition.

Not long after the incident at the State Pavilion Park Building, officers responded to another report of five swimmers struggling. Two people were rescued and taken to a local hospital and are reported in stable condition.

During the same incident, a 20-year-old individual was pulled from the water and was unresponsive. He was transported to North Ottawa Community Health Center where he was pronounced dead.

The beach and Grand Haven pier were closed for the remainder of the day. The victims were all out of the water prior to the close of the beach and the pier. The dangerous conditions were due to high currents, winds, and waves.

There’s no denying that Lake Michigan is a beautiful, picturesque place to be especially in the summer when going to the beach is a favorite pastime. However, Lake Michigan is also the deadliest Great Lake claiming 40 victims due to drowning in 2017 and 17 drowning victims already just this year. People are asked to practice caution due to dangerous waves and rip currents that can occur on Lake Michigan.

Please share this story with your family and friends and be sure to pray for the families of the victims.


COMMENT POLICY: We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment!