Sightseers Risk Danger to Walk Icy Lake Michigan

Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-17 19:00:06-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – Safety officials are asking people to stay off Lake Michigan after six people had to be pulled from the water this weekend.

Still, despite the warning, several people were out on the lake Monday.

“This is some pretty incredible stuff,” Adam Teesdale, from West Michigan said.

With the ice stretching as far as the eye can see, Teesdale, along with his daughter Lizzie, said they’ve lived in West Michigan their entire lives and have never seen this much beauty out on the lake during the winter.

“I’ve never seen it froze…just looks endless out there,” Teesdale said.

Nearly 70 percent of Lake Michigan is covered in ice. The coast guard said it’s a percentage that gives people a false sense of security.

For 12 years, Dan McAllister and his wife Renee have lived along the lakeshore in Grand Haven. Although they said it’s tempting to go out on the ice they’re not willing to join the crowd.

“It’s really cool when you see so many people out there,” Dan McAllister said.  “You think that it’s probably pretty safe but at the end of the day, for me, I’m too old. I can’t rescue myself anymore.”

For Teesdale, a day out on the frozen lake with his daughter, means more than walking the frozen formations.

“I cherish this,” Teesdale said. “We’re out there taking pictures and smiling and doing cool poses.”

At the end of February, the father will walk his only daughter down the aisle before she says goodbye to West Michigan.

“I come across this piece of ice,” Teesdale said. “It looks just like a crystal and it just kind of struck me as really cool. I thought, ‘I’m gonna keep that.’ This is probably gonna be the last time that we get to do this stuff….so dad’s getting all sentimental and emotional but that’s OK.”

Even though most people said they feel safe on the ice, safety officials said, they’re putting themselves, along with rescuers at risk by doing so.