Two people swept off North Pier in St. Joseph, search continues for one body
ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – Waves swept two people off Tiscornia Park’s North Pier Thursday morning in two separate incidents and there is an ongoing search to recover the body of one of those victims.
Both incidents happened within an hour and a half of each other.
At 8:25 a.m., a woman was swept off by waves.
Her husband threw her one of the floating devices along the pier, which allowed her to let the current take her to the South Pier where she was rescued.
“He stayed calm, he was able to think and throw her a floatation device and she made it to safety,” said Steve Neubecker, Director of Public Safety for the City of St. Joseph.
At 9:58 a.m., officers were in route to the beach when they discovered an 80-year-old fisherman had also been taken off the pier.
“A known, charter fisherman contacted one of our officers directly advising that an elderly man was on the pier fishing and he might have difficulty getting off because the waves were crashing over,” said Neubecker. “When our officers arrived, the individual was no longer located on the pier and we located personal belongings.”
Not long after, officers had reports from family that the 80-year-old man never returned home.
Neubecker said no matter your swimming skill level, or if you’re in the water or on the pier, one thing can protect you.
“A 25-dollar life vest is the number one thing to buy, if you’re going out on the pier put one on, they weigh five to six pounds, they’re not going to inconvenience you, it’s going to keep you safe,” said Neubecker.
While family has been notified, officers have not released the name of that 80-year-old man.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Drone Company, as well as Michigan State Police and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department dive teams are all assisting with the search.