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Old 07-05-2003, 10:36 PM
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Three drown in Lake Michigan
Saturday, July 5, 2003 Posted: 9:27 PM EDT (0127 GMT)



Sheriff's deputies prepare to embark on personal watercraft Saturday to search Lake Michigan for bodies of the missing.

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ST. JOSEPH, Michigan (AP) -- Three people drowned and four others were missing and presumed drowned in choppy water along popular Lake Michigan beaches, officials said Saturday.

The accidents happened along a three-mile stretch of beaches just north of the Indiana state line Friday, after storms kicked up waves and created a strong undertow in the area, Barrien County Sheriff's Lt. Ed Sherrick said.

The search for the missing swimmers resumed Saturday.

"Due to the circumstances, it's not considering lifesaving. It's considered body recovery," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Christian.

None of the beaches has lifeguards, the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune reported. Instead, flags are used to signal degrees of danger, and on Friday, red flags were posted warning people to stay out of the lake because of hazardous conditions.

Bruce C. Chapman, 57, and his wife Judith, 66, drowned off a beach bordering Warren Dunes State Park, about 15 miles south of St. Joseph, and Mark Weiss, 59, of Chicago, drowned off a neighboring beach.

Three swimmers from Illinois were missing off Warren Dunes, and a swimmer from Oregon was missing from nearby Bethany Beach, Sherrick said. Their names were not immediately released.

Due to the circumstances, it's not considering lifesaving. It's considered body recovery.
-- Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Christian


A 12-year-old Chicago boy swimming off Warren Dunes had to be rescued and was treated at a hospital.

The three swimmers missing at Warren Dunes had been trying to help the 12-year-old, the South Bend Tribune and The Herald Palladium of St. Joseph reported.

Twins Ernesto and Hector Rodriguez, 19, of Chicago had joined the rescue effort. "All six of us could have been drowned," Ernesto Rodriguez told The Herald Palladium.

Warren Dunes State Park, with about two miles of shoreline and sand dunes rising 240 feet over Lake Michigan, is visited by more than 1 million people annually.


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Old 07-06-2003, 07:15 AM
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Sad, Shame,

My brother was in CG up there he said the waters are more dangerous then you think
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Old 07-06-2003, 10:19 AM
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That's sad news, Cat. We ALWAYS require children to wear PFD's (not just noodles) while in the water. I set the example by wearing a PFD when children are with us.
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Old 07-06-2003, 08:23 PM
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As the owner of a commercial pool company who supply lifeguards for over 130 different swimming pools I emplore all parents who have their childeren at a guarded or ungaurded body of water to have lifevests on thier children and watch them at all times. All it takes is a few seconds......
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Old 07-06-2003, 08:51 PM
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A 30 foot boat cap sized at LOTO with 11 people on board
I believe all survived except one.
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