RODNEY, Mich. (WOOD) — A teen remained in critical condition Monday after nearly drowning in the Muskegon River Saturday.
Police say the 16-year-old was tubing near Hemlock Park with the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs youth group when he fell out of his tube shortly after the trip started. The youth group’s website has identified the victim as Abid Mallick.
Mallick was apparently trying to adjust his tube when he fell into the water. His peers could not find him and rescue crews were called in to help. Mallick was later located near the mouth of Mitchell Creek as it enters the Muskegon River.
Rescue crews pulled the victim from the river and resuscitated him. He was then transported by Aero Med to a hospital, where he is now in the ICU.
Mallick was part of a group renting Cran-Hill Ranch, a Christian summer youth camp in Rodney, when the incident happened.
Investigators say the water in the area where the teen was tubing goes from a few feet to about 16 feet deep and has strong currents.
Cran-Hill Executive Director Scott Barger said that while Cran Hill strictly enforces use of floatation devices for those attending the ranch’s summer camp, it cannot require that guest groups who are renting the facility to use life jackets.
“Licensing is very, very specific for summer camp. For summer camp, all of our kids are required to wear life jackets. For groups renting for a night or two, we’ve left that decision to them and their leaders. We always highly, highly recommend it (wearing life jacket),” he said. “We give them quite a rundown when we arrive. It’s up to each kids’ group.”
The state agency that licenses summer camps confirms the youth group was not required to follow the same camp licensing rules as Cran-Hill itself.
Big Rapids police say many of the people with the youth group used a life jacket, but Mallick did not.
Camp officials are asking for prayers for the teenage boy on their Facebook page.