Teaching surfers how to handle rescues on Lake MI

Surfers rescue a kayaker on Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. (Sept. 10, 2014)


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A dramatic rescue on Lake Michigan was caught on video as a kayaker was nearly swallowed by a large wave.

A 24 Hour News 8 camera was rolling when kayaker Adam Medema was saved with the help of nearby surfers and people on the Grand Haven State Park breakwater on Wednesday after 6 p.m.

Bob Pratt, the Director of Education at the Great Lakes Surf and Rescue Project, started the program in an effort to teach surfers about how to handle rescues on Lake Michigan.

He steps through the rescue video and what was done right and what could have been done differently.

Ten years ago there weren’t life rings at the Grand Haven Pier, but thanks to one woman’s effort that has changed.

Vicki Cech lost her son Andy Fox in September 2003. He drowned after getting caught in a strong rip current at Grand Haven State Park. There were no safety rings around at that time.

She has since founded The Beach & Pier Safety Task Force in order to install safety devices on piers and reduce the number of deaths on the Great Lakes.

Cech spoke to 24 Hour News 8 about the kayaker who was rescued.

“I’m very thankful the rings are out there. It probably would’ve have been a different scenario. It seemed to get him a little closer to the pier,” said Cech. “It’s an extra safety precaution.”

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Online:

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

The Great Lakes Beach & Pier Safety Task Force

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