Surfer helps in rescue of 2 girls from Lake Michigan
Grand Haven — A Lake Michigan surfer is credited with aiding in the rescue of two teenage girls who were caught in an apparent rip current, according to police.
The girls, ages 13 and 14, were approximately 800 feet from the pier in Grand Haven State Park, said Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke. Surfers and emergency personnel pulled them from Lake Michigan after bystanders on the beach saw them struggling in the water.
“I just saw them bobbing around out there,” said Mike Dixon of Norton, who was at the beach, taking photos of waves breaking over the pier at the time of the incident. “To me, they looked like they were in trouble.”
Zeb Boeskool of Grand Haven was surfing at the time and sprang into action when a friend told him a couple of swimmers were seen far offshore and were struggling in the waves. After grabbing a life ring and swim fins, he was able to reach the 13-year-old and bring her back to shore.
“I swam her in from the second set of breakers,” Boeskool said. “She was gasping for air.”
The 13-year-old girl wasn’t breathing and she was taken to a hospital in serious condition, Hawke said. Her condition had improved to stable by Thursday evening, he told the Grand Haven Tribune.
The 14-year-old was alert, sitting up and being comforted on the beach after being rescued from the lake. She was taken to the hospital for observation and was released.
A red flag was flying at the beach, warning people of dangerous swimming conditions. A beach hazard statement released by the National Weather Service was in effect for most of this week to call attention to dangerous swimming conditions, with waves between 4- and 7-feet-tall, along the Lake Michigan shoreline from St. Joseph to Manistee.
Police haven’t released the girls’ names.