HOLLAND, Mich. — The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search Thursday for two teenage boys who disappeared in Lake Michigan after being swept outside the swimming area near the north breakwall by strong rip currents at Holland State Park in Holland, Michigan, Wednesday night.
“This is never a choice that is easy to make,” said Cmdr. Leanne Lusk, of Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. “Coast Guard Search and Rescue helicopter and boats crews, as well as numerous members of the local first responder community and incident command team searched throughout the night after we received the initial report. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the two boys.”
At approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, a group of four teenage boys were swimming near the northern breakwall at Holland State Park. After being caught in strong currents, two of the boys were able to climb back onto the rocks, while the other two were last seen going under the water and not resurfacing.
Coast Guard boat crews from Station Holland, Station Grand Haven and Station Saint Joseph, Michigan, as well as helicopter aircrews from Air Facility Muskegon, Michigan, Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, and Air Station Detroit searched Lake Michigan continuously for over 18 hours, covering more than 212 square miles. The search crews did not locate any signs of the missing boys and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department remains on scene to conduct recovery efforts.
There were dangerous swimming conditions on the lakeshore throughout the day, with warnings of high winds, rough seas and rip currents. The boys were not wearing lifejackets.