Crews Continue Recovery Efforts for Swimmer in Lake Michigan

It’s been more than 24 hours since a teenager went missing off the coast of Mason County.

Now it’s considered a recovery mission.

And because of rough lake conditions, police are scaling back the search Tuesday night.

18-year-old Daniel McCarthy was last seen struggling in the water around 3 Monday afternoon.

Police say he was about 150 yards off the shore near Ludington State Park.

Where Tuesday red flags are out, and police are warning swimmers to stay away from the mouths of rivers.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole says Daniel was a part of a group of three to get caught in the current at the mouth of the Big Sauble River.

As people began to help, the distressed group grew to eight people.

More beach goers were able to bring in seven of them, but Daniel McCarthy was still stuck out in the lake.

“It was a tough challenging day on the lake and people put their own lives at risk to save other people,” says Cole.

Lake Michigan is unforgiving. In a matter of seconds, a fun day in the water can turn to tragedy, as it did at the mouth of the Big Sauble River Monday.

“It is so scary. It is coming like 100 miles an hour this way and then when it hits the Lake Michigan like it’s, like and it slams together so it will automatically send you out,” Destany Tuffelmire, friends with Daniel said.

Daniel McCarthy was swept out to the lake. Immediately the Coast Guard searched from above and the sheriff’s department on the water.

“The currents would suggest that Daniel probably went south from the outlet,” Cole said.

As the rescue turned to a recovery, crews turned to searching the lake bottom for Daniel.

“They are currently mapping Lake Michigan and they’ll go back and analyze what they mapped,” Cole said.

Onlookers are hoping for a miracle but assuming the worst, at this point police are hoping to at least bring closure by finding Daniel.

“He’s probably not alive but I just want closure for our family you know? Baldwin is a huge family,” Tuffelmire said.

We are told Daniel was a very strong swimmer, but this is just a reminder that nobody is stronger than the big lake and the current.