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Grand Haven pier shut down after several are swept off

Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 14:25:57-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Police closed the south pier to the public after several people were swept off and into the water Saturday evening.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Grand Haven Department of Public Safety officers responded to two life-ring activations at the south pier. Upon arriving at the scene, they learned that a man entered the water off the pier to retrieve a shoe, began struggling in the waves and was rescued by bystanders using life rings.

The man had left the scene, but officers learned that several others had been swept off the pier by waves. All were able to self-rescue and were accounted for.

While officers were at the scene, they heard people hollering at the base of the pier by the shoreline. The officers responded and found a 20-year-old man from Illinois being pulled from the water by friends. The man told officers that he had been swimming off the beach when he was overcome by waves, began to struggle to stay above water and friends pulled him to safety.

Medical responders checked the man and he declined further treatment.

Since people were continuing to go out onto the pier, police made the decision to shut it down for the public's safety.

The pier was reopened to the public later Saturday night.