Search Continues For Teen After Wave Sweeps 2 Off Pier At Holland State Park

WWJ News
January 02, 2020 - 8:55 am

(WWJ) - A search is ongoing in Lake Michigan after two teenagers were swept off a pier, and only one made it out of the water. 

Ottawa County Sheriff’s officials said Thursday morning that the search for a 16-year-old girl who fell into the water at Holland State Park is now a recovery mission. She's presumed drowned.

The girl was with a 16-year-old boy around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when a wave crashed onto the pier and swept them into the water below. A supervisor at Ottawa County Central Dispatch says the teenage boy hit his head, but was able to get out of the water and return to shore. The girl apparently never resurfaced.

The Coast Guard has been searching for the girl using a boat and a helicopter, but the it's been difficult because of wind and waves. 

"We had higher winds ranging from 25 to 30 knots and the reported on scene weather was wave height ranging anywhere from five to nine to possibly even 10 feet," Executive Petty Officer Kevin Pryer told WWJ's Beth Fisher. "When our crews responded with the boat asset, the waves were crashing over the pierhead there in Holland as well."

Identities of the teens have not been released, but police say they are from the east side of the state and were visiting the area. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation and was released. 

As for why the teens were out on the pier so late, Pryer said they were just taking in the sights.

"We were told that basically, she had never seen Lake Michigan so they were just kind of going out there to see it," he said. 

Dive teams returned to the scene Thursday morning, but conditions have so far been too dangerous for divers to enter the water. 

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