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Northern Michigan man drowns at Grand Haven State Park

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM/G.H. Tribune) - A 76-year-old Northern Michigan man is dead after an apparent drowning at Grand Haven State Park.

Police identified the victim as Richard Habermas of Lake Ann, about 15 miles west of Traverse City.  He and his wife were vacationing in the Grand Haven area.

The incident happened around 3 p.m. Thursday, investigators say. 

Habermas' wife says the couple was in the water together when they were hit by a large wave.  The wave separated Habermas from his wife, and he began to struggle in the water.  His wife was unable to pull him to shallower water, and Habermas was pulled under.

Our partner, the Grand Haven Tribune, is reporting bystanders on the beach went into the water to search for Habermas.  A man on a surf board helped the victim's wife get back to shore.

Health Advisory issued for Spring Lake beach

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - The Ottawa County Health Department says they have observed elevated E. coli bacteria levels at the Lakeside Beach in Spring Lake and have issued a Public Health Advisory. The results were from a Wednesday test.  

Additional samples will be collected next week. 

The Health Department recommends that if you do choose to swim, you should:

•Avoid getting lake water in the mouth
•Have young children wear clean swim diapers
•Make sure children use restrooms before swimming
•Do not let sick people swim
•Wash your hands after being in the water or touching the sand
•Do not swim if the water looks or smells polluted
•Avoid swimming after a heavy rainfall
•Do not feed the seagulls
•Do not litter
•Shower when you get home

Warm summer brings record number of Lake Michigan drownings

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM)- The state park in Holland has not suffered a drowning yet this summer, but the Ottawa County Sheriff's Marine Division Chief fears that could change before summer ends.

"I'm very concerned," Sgt. Keith Koeman said Friday.

Warm, sunny days have brought Lake Michigan water temperatures to above 70 degrees for over a month.  Combine that with a large number of no-swim "red flag" days, and the result has been a record number of drowning deaths in the big lake.

21 of the 65 deaths have been attributed to rip currents that can exhaust even strong swimmers.  Many beaches have posted information on dealing with rip currents.  Sgt. Koeman says swimmers caught in a rip current should let it carry them out and swim parallel to the shore until they escape.

Grand Haven will open historic lighthouse for tours

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - When an animal rights group wanted to take over Grand Haven's lighthouses the city stepped up to claim its historic icons.

PETA wanted to post signs encouraging the humane treatment of fish. But recently, the federal government agreed to transfer the lighthouse to the city's care, and with a little patching and fundraising, visitors will soon be able to step inside.

At Grand Haven's lakeshore, sunshine and waves take center stage, but just down the way are the city's true shinning gems. The rubies are two lighthouses that have been the guiding boaters into port since the turn of the century.

But the once beacons of light, are now empty and dark. David Karpin is now the caretaker.

Karpin says, "I took care of lighthouses in the coastguard for twenty years and I've been attracted to lighthouses since I was a small kid."

Annual 3rd Street Bridge Walk

From http://www.grandhaven.org/

Can't make it to Mackinaw for the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk?! Then join us for the 2010 Labor Day Community Walk across Grand Haven's Third Street Bridge!

When: Monday, September 6th, 2010 (Labor Day)

Where: Meet at Mulligan's Hollow

Who: People of all ages

Time: Walk starts at 9:00am

Details: Enjoy a healthy 3.5 mile walk through the City with an Ice cream social to follow!

Additional Info