A Michigan off-duty police officer’s trip to the park with his kids Tuesday meant he was at the right place, at the right time, to save a man from drowning in Lake Michigan.
Officer Kelvin Miller, of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety, is credited with going into the water and saving a father who nearly drowned while trying to reach his own two children in the water. The children were rescued by others, but the father needed help.
Miller was on scene quickly since he had taken his two children, ages 6 and 8, to Grand Haven State Park. He told WOOD8 his daughter wasn’t happy to see the red flag warnings and know they wouldn’t be playing in the water. They went to the playground instead.
Soon after, he received word via phone from dispatch that there was a problem in the water. It was in the same part of the park as the playground and Miller immediately sprang into action.
A man had gone out to rescue his two children who were on a raft. Bystanders were able to get the two kids to shore, but their dad was going under. Miller grabbed rescue gear off a department of natural resources side-by-side ATV when it arrived and swam out to the man.
“I walked him through what I was going to do. I told him not to pull me under the water, that I had flotation, that the flotation was sufficient enough to hold him above the water as well,” Miller says. “He was pretty exhausted. Grabbed on to him. Was able to pull him back to shore.”
There were two other near drownings according to the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. Due to the conditions being a red flag and the three near drownings, the Grand Haven State Park made the decision to close the beach and Grand Haven Department of Public Safety assisted with clearing the water. All people in each case were rescued from the water.