Drowning victim's younger sister tried to save her

PENTWATER, MICH. - The 10-year-old Lansing girl who drowned in Lake Michigan Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, was paddle boarding with her 9-year-old sister, and the two girls were unsupervised, according to Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Craig Mast.

Hannah Harris drowned after falling off a paddle board approximately a half mile north of Charles Mears State Park in 3-4 foot waves in between the second and third sand bars, Mast said. Her younger sister tried to save her, but also began to struggle and headed for shore, Mast said. Neither girl was wearing a life jacket.

The two girls were staying with their father, who was doing a roofing a job on a nearby cottage on Perry Street in Pentwater, the lieutenant said.

The drowning was a “terrible tragedy,” Mast said. The incident is being reviewed by police, but it is very likely the father will not be criminally charged, he said.

The sheriff’s office and several other agencies were dispatched to the scene at 3:47 p.m. While first responders were en route, they were advised that the victim had been recovered at 4:20 p.m. Pentwater Police Officer Xander Schulz was the first on scene and began CPR at 4:23 p.m.

Hannah’s drowning was the fourth drowning in Oceana County waters this summer.

Local fishermen Steven Bruce, 62, and Brian Waslusky, 53, both drowned in Lake Michigan in August near the Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Golden Township. The men entered water that was over 100 feet deep from a boat in an attempt to net a fish. Neither man was wearing a life jacket.

Matthew Vo, 28, of Southfield, Michigan drowned in Lucky Lake in Grant Township in June during the Lakes of Fire festival. Toxicology results indicate that Vo also had also ingested several drugs, including cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and the horse tranquilizer ketamine, prior to his death. Vo also was not wearing a life jacket.

Bruce’s and Waslusky’s toxicology results have not yet been released.

© 2016 Oceana County Press


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