SAUGATUCK, Mich., Aug. 11 (UPI) — The bodies of two Michigan men were found in Lake Michigan after being swept away in huge waves and rip currents brought on by high winds, authorities said.
Daniel J. Reed, 46, of Redford Township, and his nephew, Brad Stoner, 22, of Livonia, were found Wednesday about a quarter mile south of piers at Saugatuck Dunes State Park, the U.S. Coast Guard said, The Grand Rapids Press reported.
“Both of them were really strong swimmers,” said Sgt. Todd Wagner of the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit. “That’s how strong the (rip) current was.”
The two men had been swimming Tuesday when they disappeared from sight amid high winds, a strong rip current and waves of up to 8 feet, authorities said.
The lake normally gets waves that high in the fall after cold fronts push though, Brandon Hoving, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, told The Detroit News.
But the strong north-northwest winds brought the high waves along much of Lake Michigan’s eastern shore during the heart of vacation season, leading to advisories from the Indiana state line to the Manistee River.
Last year, 10 deaths were attributed to rip currents on Lake Michigan.