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Rough conditions put search for drowning victim on hold

18-year-old still missing from South Haven beach
Posted at 11:45 AM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 11:45:52-04

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — An 18-year-old man last seen in Lake Michigan on Sunday remains missing, as conditions on the water prevent crews from continuing the search.

Strong winds are driving whitecaps into the beaches at South Haven again Monday. Officials closed the south beach after the teen went missing around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Crews and volunteers were able to rescue a 19-year-old clinging to a buoy about 100 yards from shore. Both men were visiting from the Jackson area, and went into the water during red flag conditions.

According to resident James Roberts who was part of the rescue effort, the riptide currents that day were strong.

"I've been in the area for 50 years," said Roberts. "And, you know, it's the undertow and the Riptide, rip current, that's what you got to understand, it's all a suck yah right under the rip your own carry away. So you're fighting that and you're trying to get to the kids, you know, they're panicking. One kid, let go and win under a little bit, grabbed me and then he got a hold of Cody and Cody got him in. The other kid just disappeared."

According to South Haven Area Emergency Services, 3 people were rescued from the water on Saturday. Sunday's drowning is the second of the year in South Haven.