Van Buren deputy makes water rescue on two teens floating away from the beach

ABC 57

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. -- The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office was called out to South Beach in South Haven around 3:30 p.m. Thursday for reports of two teens in an inflatable pool raft drifting past the pier and further away from the beach. 

The 16-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl had been playing in the swim area when the current and wind pulled them out into four-foot waves, and they were unable to get back to shore, according to witnesses.

"They did not have life jackets on the raft, and it was beginning to take on water," the VBCSO said. "According to witnesses there was no way the raft was going to make it back to shore with the current water conditions."

A Van Buren County marine deputy happened to be on duty nearby in the Black River.

"The deputy immediately took his watercraft to the reported location of the raft and located the two juveniles," the VBCSO said. "The quick response of the deputy helped prevent the situation from further deteriorating with the potential for the raft overturning with the juveniles still on it."

Authorities say the deputy was able to make it out in the choppy waters and get the teens onto the boat without any injuries.

The kids were then taken back to shore to reunited with their families, who authorities say were "extremely thankful for the service."

The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office, along with all of us here at ABC57, would like to remind the public to use extreme caution when out on Lake Michigan and continuously monitor changing weather and water conditions.

As ABC57's Tom Coomes continues to say, "respect the lake." And that goes double for holiday weekends and events where there are more people than normal in the water. 

"Monitor children and/or members of your party regularly for any signs that they may be struggling in the water," the sheriff's office said. 

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