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Manistee Woman Warns of Dangers of Currents After Saving 4 Girls From Lake Michigan 2 Years Ago

Two years after saving four young girls from drowning at a Manistee beach, the Northern Michigan mom that pulled them from the water said there are still lessons to be learned.

Alyssa DeWitt said every year on May 25, that scary day comes rushing back reminding her of what would have happened had she not been there.

She had taken her kids to Manistee’s First Street Beach, when she noticed some girls between the ages of 9 and 14 near the pier without adult supervision.


DeWitt said the waves were massive that day, and soon after the sounds of splashing and playing turned into screams for help. She said it was a situation, where she was in right place, at the right time.

“They basically described it like it was a washing machine right there. They were just getting like thrown against the pier and pulled out and then thrown back,” said DeWitt.

DeWitt was five months pregnant with her fourth child but that didn’t stop her from springing into action. She said there was nobody else around to help.

“She was looking right at me, waving her arms as fast and hard as she could, screaming for me to come help,” said DeWitt.


She said there were no life saving devices out yet at the pier. Those usually come out a few days later when beach season starts.

“So, I just solely used my arms, and I leaned over the side of the pier and pulled them up one by one,” said DeWitt.

DeWitt said it was emotional once everyone was out of the water.

“I cried a lot. It was like so much relief just because the fear that they had in their eyes, they thought they were going to die. So many hugs and so many thank yous,” said DeWitt.


She said she works at the high school where some of the girls attend now and a few were surprised to learn she was the one that saved them. DeWitt said seeing them often, it’s hard not to think of the what- ifs.

“You know, like what if I hadn’t been able to save them all? What if, you know, I was only able to get a couple of them and the other two didn’t make it? What if I hadn’t been there? They wouldn’t have made it if I hadn’t been,” said DeWitt.

DeWitt said she was nominated for Michiganians of The Year back in 2021 for her heroic efforts. She also said since the incident, city police have stepped up and started holding water safety presentations at all the local schools.

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