Grand Rapids teen dies after Lake Michigan rescue

6:57 PM, Jun 16, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Teen found in lake, no word on condition

  • Lake Michigan. Courtesy: Becky Vargo- Grand Haven Tribune.
  • Lake Michigan. Courtesy: Becky Vargo- Grand Haven Tribune.
    

UPDATE (7:30 P.M. SATURDAY)-- The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is confirming that Christian Ouding has died.

The medical examiner ruled the teenager's death a drowning. Deputies say the teenager passed away at Spectrum Health Hospital at 4:18 a.m. Saturday.

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - His companions say 13-year-old Christian Ouding was underwater for nearly an hour before he was rescued from Lake Michigan near Grand Haven Friday afternoon.

"It was a long time that he was under," remembers witness Melissa Beute.

The Grand Rapids teenager was swimming and kayaking with teammates from the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors Soccer League when he went under about 60 yards from shore near the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds on Lakeshore Drive.

"We heard screams for help," says Beute, who was on the beach with her children. 

"We responded to that immediately," says conference grounds director Mike Perton.

People on shore formed human chains to search the water for the missing boy.

"There were quite a few of us helping," Beute recalls.

"The specific family of the boy in the water, they were out there searching in kayaks and a paddle boat," says Perton.

The teenager was finally found submerged in about eight or nine feet of water.

"The boys that were kayaking with him found him and waved the police over," says Beute, describing the rescue.

"We could even hear the diver waving his hand and hollering, 'Over here, Over here'," says Susan Boucher, who was watching from shore with her children. "The sheriff's boat came and picked him up. They started CPR. They came to shore and they were doing CPR on shore as well for quite a while. It seemed like there was still some hope."

The teenager was flown from Grand Haven to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.  Ouding is listed in critical condition.

You can also find more coverage of the water rescue in the Grand Haven Tribune.

Reported by Phil Dawson in Grand Haven Township

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