Recovery Mission Resumes For Teen Swept Off Pier At Holland State Park

WWJ News
January 03, 2020 - 12:11 pm
Holland State Park

Wooden staircase at Holland State Park


(WWJ) - After being hampered by high winds and dangerous waves, crews have resumed searching for the body of a 16-year-old girl who was swept off a pier on Lake Michigan.

Members of the Ottawa County Dive Team and Marine Patrol resumed their search Friday near the Holland State Park for Eliza Trainer.

Trainer, a junior at Flushing High School near Flint, was swept off the pier and fell into the water at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. An 18-year-old boy who was with Trainer hit his head, but was able to get out of the water and return to shore. Trainer disappeared under the water and is presumed drowned.

Eliza Trainer gofundme.jpeg
Eliza Trainer (Photo: GoFundMe)

Conditions on Lake Michigan remain dangerous with high wind and waves. Divers have been unable to enter the water to search due to the dangerous conditions, so crews are searching the area by boat with the assistance of sonar technology. 

"At this time, we're not able to get divers in the water right now... so we're still waiting for a better weather window to get them in the water," said Capt. Jake Sparks. "But we were able to get a boat in the water today, so the search continues."

Additional shoreline searches have been completed, but crews so far haven't been able to locate Trainer.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help Trainer's family plan a memorial for the teen. The fundraiser says Trainer's friend did everything he could to save her after they ended up in the lake.

"They clung to each other for about 5 minutes, trying to make their way to the rocks. Her friend was able to get on a rock while still holding her hand, but as he was trying to pull her up another wave came and took her from his grip. He tried to find her but she was quickly swept away. He fought again to get out of the angry waves and was able to run for help."

Trainer, whose mother died five years ago from breast cancer, had dreams of becoming a diesel mechanic after graduation. She spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying hikes in the woods and would do anything to help those in need, according to her friends and family. 

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