Four rescued at Grand Haven State Park during holiday weekend marred by drownings

Shawntay Lewis
The Detroit News

Four people, two swimmers and two people who tried to assist them, were rescued from Lake Michigan at Grand Haven State Park on Monday.

The swimmers started calling for help around 4 p.m., the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said in a release.

Multiple agencies, including the U.S Coast Guard in Grand Haven, responded with assistance. 

Beachgoers formed a human chain to reach the struggling swimmers, police said. They were able to reach one of the two through the human chain and a lifebuoy ring. 

However, two participants of the human chain began to struggle in the water during the rescue efforts, police said. 

Patrol boats from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office were able to rescue the two human chain participants and the second swimmer. 

Two 17-year-olds from Grand Rapids, a 42-year-old from Oakland County and a 29-year-old from Grand Rapids were rescued, police said. One person was transported with minor injuries to North Ottawa Community Hospital for treatment. 

Lake Michigan beach alerts were issued from the National Weather Service for the Memorial Day weekend but the Grand Haven State Park beach was a moderate swim risk at the time.

The holiday was marred in Michigan by several drownings at inland lakes across the state:

►A 6-year-old Detroit girl drowned Monday at a beach at Kensington Metropark in Milford Township in Oakland County. The girl was found in the water in a weeded area just beyond the north end of Martindale Beach.

"It's a tragic situation," said Michael Reese, Huron-Clinton Metroparks' chief of police.

After searching the beach, officers asked for volunteers to help search the water, he said, and the girl was eventually discovered.

"She was unconscious," Reese said. "An officer immediately pulled her out of the water and began administering CPR for a period of time. She was transported to a hospital, but we received a call later that she was pronounced dead."

The girl was at the beach with her family, officials said.

Reese said his department was assisted by the Green Oak Township and Hamburg Township Police departments, Michigan State Police and the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

► A Toledo man, 45, drowned Monday evening at Milan Beach in Milan Township. His family had searched for him for two hours.

Family members told deputies the man had been in the water and they didn't know his location.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office Dive Team searched the water for the man and "not long thereafter" recovered his body, officials said, and he was pronounced dead. 

According to its website, Milan Beach at 16339 Cone Road is a privately owned beach resort. The beach is open to the public through a free membership program.

► A 20-year-old man was believed to have drowned Sunday in northern Michigan’s Bear Lake after diving from a boat and struggling in the water. Searchers were unable to find him Sunday evening.

► A man, 39, from Sylvania, Ohio, a Toledo suburb, went under the water Sunday at Devils Lake in Lenawee County while preparing to go tubing with his daughter and didn't resurface. His body was found Monday evening.

Thomas O'Leary, 39 of Sylvania, Ohio, was about to go tubing with his daughter before they both fell off the tube and into Devils Lake in Manitou Beach near the Ohio border, according to a press release from the Lenawee County Sheriff's Office. Although O'Leary never came back to the surface, police said, his child was not injured. 

Alcohol was not a factor in the incident, police said, and all children were wearing life vests while the man was not. 

O'Leary's family was on the trip with another family and rented a cottage on the lake, the release said.

The Associated Press contributed.