Concern over missing rescue gear on Muskegon beach

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon officials have a request for the beachgoing public: Unless there’s an emergency, keep your hands off our lifesaving gear.

Safety equipment stations found at various locations along the beach include instructions on what to do in an emergency and, of course, the equipment you may need to save a life.

Equipment at Pere Marquette Park and other locations has been replaced over and over again this summer as the lifesaving items keep coming up missing.

‘Well, that’s ridiculous,” Joely Henderson said as she enjoyed the beach with her family Thursday. “Why would you want to steal safety equipment and things that would really help somebody who’s drowning?”

Muskegon Parks and Recreation Supervisor Bernadette Young stopped short of saying the gear is being stolen. She said in some cases, the items have been found at various locations on the beach, borrowed by someone presumably using them as a beach toy. But signs above the rescue stations clearly state the gear is not for recreational use.

The obvious concern is that the gear won’t be there when someone’s life is in danger.

But there are other consequences: Get caught with the equipment and you may be charged with a misdemeanor that could cost you a 93-day jail stay and a $5,000 fine.

Get caught with the gear after someone gets hurt or dies because it wasn’t available and you’ll face a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.