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Crews searching for possible drowning victim in South Haven; Beach to remain closed Monday

The search for an 18-year-old man will continue once conditions improve.

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — Sunday afternoon, South Haven crews searched for an 18-year-old man who may have drowned in Lake Michigan. 

South Haven Area Emergency Services responded to the city's South Beach around 4:30 p.m. on a report of two men in distress at a buoy in the swimming area.

Responders noticed a teen clinging to the buoy about 100 yards away from shore. A SHAES responder and South Haven Police officer reached the teen who said his friend tried swimming back to shore, but went under the water and did not resurface. 

The rescued victim, a 19-year-old man, was brought to shore. The other is an 18-year-old; both are from the Jackson area.

RELATED: 'Stay out of the water,' Dangerous swim conditions on Lake Michigan

Credit: South Haven Area Emergency Services

Responders formed a human chain and the Van Buren Sheriff Marine Patrol and a Coast Guard crew searched the water. A Coast Guard helicopter and dive team also assisted in the search. 

South Haven Police closed the South Beach through Monday. They said the beach was closed because of continued hazardous conditions. The beach has been barricaded and people who trespass will be prosecuted, police said. 

The search for the 18-year-old, who is presumed drowned, will resume on Monday. 

The National Weather Service warned of dangerous conditions on Lake Michigan Sunday, saying the waves were going to be the biggest so far this summer. Red flags were flying in South Haven with waves reaching 3 to 5 feet.  

On Saturday, three people were rescued from Lake Michigan in South Haven. SHAES said there have been two drownings in South Haven this year. 

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