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Huge Wave Sweeps Teen Into Lake Michigan

16-year-old is presumed drowned
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2020 2:13 AM CST
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Rescue crews search for a 16-year-old girl Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, in Holland, Mich., who fell into Lake Michigan after a wave hit the pier at Holland State Park the night before.   (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)
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(Newser) – A 16-year-old girl visiting Lake Michigan for the first time is missing and presumed drowned after apparently being swept into the water by a large wave, authorities said. Eliza Trainer, of Flint, and an 18-year-old friend were knocked into the lake off Holland State Park about 11:30pm Wednesday, according to the Ottawa County sheriff’s office. High waves hampered search efforts on Thursday. Trainer’s friend was able to get out of the water and he summoned help. Waves at the time were estimated at about 12 feet high, the sheriff's office said. Sgt. Jay Douglas said the pair were at the pier "to see Lake Michigan," the AP reports.

"They hadn't seen Lake Michigan before," Douglas told reporters, adding caution about the lake when the weather is bad. "Lake Michigan isn't a joke. It's dangerous," he said. "These conditions are not conducive to being out on the pier." Crews from the sheriff's office, the Park Township and Holland fire departments, and the US Coast Guard were among those involved in the search that started Wednesday night. "At present, the conditions are too severe to do a search from the water," the sheriff’s office said early Thursday afternoon in a release. "However, the conditions are constantly monitored and when conditions do allow a search will be made from the water." Aerial searches in what is now being described as a recovery effort were being conducted Thursday.

(Read more Lake Michigan stories.)

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