Beach house area is closed to civilians
HAMLIN TWP. — The search continues for a missing 38-year-old man who was swept from the outlet where Sable River meets Lake Michigan near the Ludington State Park beach house Thursday afternoon.
Emergency responders were dispatched to a water emergency at the outlet at approximately 3:15 p.m. to help the four people who “appear(ed) to be struggling in the water,” and were not wearing life-preservers, according to dispatchers.
Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole told the Daily News that Oceana and Lake counties are standing by, and that several other agencies are assisting in the search efforts, noting that local authorities are still strained from the two-day search on Monday and Tuesday.
“Right now we have (Mason County) Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard Water and Air, Hamlin Township Fire, Ludington P.D., Life EMS, Ludington State Park (and) DNR. They’re all part of the emergency response actively searching for the missing man,” Cole said. “We have Ludington Fire and Custer Fire who are refilling air tanks for us. We do have divers in the water right now. Because of the events of Monday and Tuesday, our resources are pretty strained right now. So we have Oceana Co. Sheriff’s dive team and patrol boat on standby and Lake Co (Sheriff’s) divers on standby as well. They’ll be summoned this evening if we need them to continue our dive and search efforts.”
The three other people were found and pulled from the water with no injuries, according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.
“The initial call was there were four people who were swept out into Lake Michigan out of the mouth of the (river) outlet. We happened to have two deputies here in the park that were launching the patrol boat in Hamlin Lake. The call came in, so they were right here.”
Cole said when deputies reached the scene, people were visibly struggling in the water.
“One of our deputies, when he got to the scene here at the mouth of the outlet, he could see people struggling in the water," he said. "He stripped down his uniform, put on a life jacket and swam and attempted to get to the victim. He could see what he thought was the victim when he initially went in the water, but by the time the deputy got to where he had seen the man, the man was no longer there.”
Ludington State Park officials have closed off a portion of the beach near the beach house.
More information will be released as it becomes available.