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2 teens rescued after being swept off Grand Haven pier

The two were able to tread water while a bystander threw a life ring into the water.
Credit: Alex Doty / Tribune
Officials said that new life rings recently installed on Grand Haven's South Pier helped bystanders rescue a struggling swimmer Saturday night. This is a picture of a life ring on the catwalk before it was removed and the surface of the pier was fixed.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Two teens were rescued from Lake Michigan after being swept off the Grand Haven South Pier Saturday morning.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, both from Lake Orion, were near the end of the pier just before the second lighthouse when a wave hit them from behind, knocking them into the water.

The two were able to tread water while a bystander threw a life ring into the water. Other bystanders were able to pull them back onto the pier, police said. 

First responders were dispatched to the scene after the water rescue life ring alarm was transmitted to Ottawa County dispatch. 

The 18-year-old was treated at the scene for injuries to his arm. 

Officers closed the South Pier until conditions improve. 

"We are grateful for the heroic efforts of those that pulled a young man and woman from Lake Michigan this morning. The power of the lake and wave action is deceiving and conditions can change quickly.  Don't go in the water if a red flag is displayed at the beach. Don't go on the pier if waves are washing over the structure," Director of Public Safety Jeff Hawke said in a statement. 

Staff from Grand Haven State Park, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Marine Division and the U.S. Coast Guard all responded to the scene. 

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