A group of Michigan beachgoers has showcased the very best of the human ingenuity by forming a chain to rescue swimmers stricken by powerful rip currents that have already claimed the lives of two people and injured three others.
First responders were called to Grand Haven State Park in Grand Haven, Michigan, at around noon on Sunday after receiving reports of numerous people struggling to keep their heads above water off the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
Water rescue at Grand Haven State ParkVideo by Becky VargoVisit www.grandhaventribune.com for more information
Posted by Grand Haven Tribune on Sunday, August 5, 2018
When officers arrived at the beachside location, they were met with an extraordinary sight: dozens of bystanders linking arms and attempting to locate a man who was submerged after getting caught in the deadly currents.
“Officers formed several human chains with assistance from bystanders in search of a swimmer that was reported to have gone under the water,” Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said in a statement, as reported by ABC News. “Officers located the man in approximately 5 feet of water and then performed CPR. He was transported to NOCH and pronounced dead.”
“There was a human chain down that way, there were two down that way and one down this way. And pretty much everybody was just linking arms and walking out as far as they could,” said eyewitness Izzy Lokers, as reported by WNEM-TV. “The taller people were out further and the shorter people were closer in. Just so nobody was like getting waves over their head or anything,”
According to officials, wave heights were between three and five feet Sunday, with The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety calling conditions “hazardous.”
“Please stay out of the water”
— Marvis Herring (@Marvis_WOODTV8) August 5, 2018
Another witness, Reyna Alcala, said that once the bystanders had done all they could to rescue those stranded in the water, there was an eerie calm as carts rushed back and forth across the beach to transport the injured to hospital.
“Everybody was standing around and there were carts going back and forth looking for people,” she said.
Police said that one of the deceased victims, a resident of Lansing, Michigan, was just 20 years old . The authorities also noted that at least five others were rescued via the heroic actions of the beachgoers, with three being rushed to hospital after suffering injury. One man, a 46-year-old from Alto, Michigan, was reported to be in a serious condition. The other two injured victims were in stable condition as of late Sunday evening.
Both the city beach and Grand Haven State Park along with the pier were closed following the tragic incident.