Coast Guard Pulls Girl From Michigan River

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- A struggling swimmer from Indiana was pulled from the St. Joseph River channel between the north and south piers Monday after a Coast Guard rescue crew patrolling the area spotted her in the water.

JD Ryan, communication watchstander at the Coast Guard station in St. Joseph, said Monday afternoon he could not release the girl's name because her family had yet to be notified. He said she was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph, by Medic 1.

It happened shortly after 1 p.m. Monday when officers who were on routine patrol saw the girl struggling, Ryan said. He said a crew lead by Boatswain's Mate 2nd class Matthew Binns pulled the girl from the water into the Coast Guard boat and brought her to the station, where a Medic 1 ambulance was waiting.

Ryan said Coast Guard personnel cannot do anything about swimmers jumping off the piers into Lake Michigan because St. Joseph has no ordinance against that. He said, however, there is a law against jumping into the channel, a waterway intended for lake access for boats in the harbor.

"We or any law enforcement officer who sees someone jumping into the channel side can tell them to stop," Ryan said.

He said he does not know, in this case, whether the girl had jumped from the pier. He said the water temperature Monday afternoon was 73 degrees, and that lots of young people could be seen jumping from the pier into Lake Michigan.

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