Michigan beachgoers formed human chains into Lake Michigan on Sunday to help rescue swimmers caught in rough waves that were blamed for two deaths and three-near drownings.
The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said in a news release the multiple water rescues took place at Grand Haven State Park Beach starting at 12 p.m., leading to a full beach closure.
The first incident came in at 12:05 p.m., when a swimmer was reported struggling in the water and bystanders formed a human chain to help search for the man. Officials told FOX17 that David Knaffle, 64, of Wyoming was located around 12:14 p.m., but was found unresponsive and later died.
Nearly four hours later, the department said a 20-year-old man from Lansing was pulled from the water. He also died.
“Officers formed several human chains with assistance from bystanders in search of a swimmer that was reported to have gone under the water,” Director of Public Safety Jeff Hawke said. “Officers located the man in approximately 5 feet of water and then performed CPR.”
Hawke said that three other people were hospitalized after being rescued from the rough waves, including a 46-year-old man listed in serious condition.
A moderate beach hazard remains at the state park on Monday, with waves expected to be between 1-4 feet along Lake Michigan, according to FOX17.