Teen dies after going under water in Lake Michigan

Jose Moreno

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — The teen pulled from Lake Michigan after a two-hour search on Wednesday has died.

Jose Moreno, a 17-year-old West Ottawa High School senior, was pronounced dead at the hospital at 10:39 p.m. after attempts to resuscitate him failed, a hospital official told 24 Hour News 8.A search for someone possibly in Lake Michigan at Holland State Park. (May 21, 2014)

Around 6:30 p.m., Moreno went under in the water north of the pier at Holland State Park.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said Moreno jumped into the water with his friend, after which the friend saw he was in distress. The friend made it back to the pier and threw Moreno a life preserver, but missed. That was the last the friend saw of him.

After hours of searching, Moreno was located around 8:30 p.m. by a device that used sonar and video near where he went under the water, the sheriff’s office said.

“I saw a bunch of boats swarm into the pier, and then all of a sudden, the sheriff boat started racing as fast as he could through the channel. And I saw the paramedic or someone doing chest compressions on what looked like the boy that they found,” witness Cassie Ramirez said.A U.S. Cost Guard helicopter aids in a search for a man in Lake Michigan in Holland. (May 21, 2014)

Moreno was then taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The water in the area where the teen was found is about 20 or 30 feet deep. Temperatures were between 40 and 57 degrees, the U.S. Coast Guard said. In water that cold, hypothermia can set in within five minutes.

While the search was underway, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team, firefighters from Georgetown and Park townships, and the U.S. Coast Guard were at the scene. There was a Coast Guard helicopter in the air.

Authorities cautioned against jumping into the lake.

“Please don’t jump off the pier,”sheriff’s office Sgt. Cal Keuning said. “If you’re going to go in the water, wear a life jacket, please — some kind of of personal flotation device. I know we have life rings out there — they’re awesome — but please, do not jump in the water.”

When asked whether the incident could have been part of the ‘cold water challenge’ — an Internet phenomenon encouraging people to jump into cold water or give money to charity that many officials have discourage — a sheriff’s department official said he did not know.

Moreno, who was a well-liked student and varsity soccer player, according to West Ottawa High School Principal Todd Tulgestke, was expected to graduate on June 1.

A vigil is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church located at 171 W 13th St. in Holland. It will be open to the public.



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