Boy drowns while swimming across bayou | News
GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Investigators say a 16-year-old boy dressed in pants and a t-shirt drowned while swimming to a platform in a Grand River bayou.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department dive team was called to Millhouse Bayou in Grand Haven Township around noon Wednesday.
Deputies say Cody Lee Maatman, 16, had been fishing with friends on the Mercury Drive bridge when they decided to swim to the platform about 200 yards away. When Cody's two friends made it safely to the platform, they turned around and saw him struggling in the water.
"They saw him go under the water and not resurface," says Lt. Steve Kempker. "It appears he became tired."
Divers and others using side-scan sonar spent hours searching the bayou for the boy. They recovered his body around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday.
"The body was recovered in about eight feet of water," says Lt. Kempker. "He was in approximately two to three feet of silt in the bottom of the bayou."
Neighbors who live along the waterway say the bayou is dangerous under the surface.
"You get 20 feet out there, and it's just like quicksand," says Jerry Brown. "Once you get in there, it's going to pull you right down through.
"You start going down -- if you are unprepared for it, it's going to pull you right down under," Brown says.
A memorial page has been set up for Cody on Facebook. He was a Grand Haven High School student, and his family lived near the bayou.