Search for Missing Teen Suspended

Family and friends of a 17-year-old who is presumed drowned in Lake Michigan last week are upset that the search for him was called off over the holiday weekend. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department say they will continue to watch the shoreline if he washes up on the beach. They say murky water and high waves late last week made it difficult to search. The two teens who drowned off Holland last week were the 72nd and 73rd to drown on one of the five Great Lakes this summer season, and two of ten to have died on West Michigan beaches. Lake Michigan has a reputation as the deadliest of the Great Lakes, primarily because it has the largest population surrounding it and large popular beaches, and the best and the worst beach weather. Long stretches of beach that run north and south, perpendicular to the westerly winds can create rip tides and under tows that can drag uninformed or unsuspecting swimmers to their deaths. Critics say tourism bureaus spend millions luring people from all over the region to Great Lakes beaches and do little to educate them about the dangers.