GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—A 13-year-old from Grand Rapids died early Saturday morning after being rescued from Lake Michigan on Friday.
Coaches of the travel soccer team that Christian Ouding, 13, of Grand Rapids played for notified all the players that Ouding died early Saturday at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Ouding was at a home on Lakeshore Drive in Grand Haven celebrating with his travel soccer team at the time of accident.
Al Rosendall is a parent of one of the soccer players at the party with Ouding. Rosendall said he searched along with everyone else in cold water about 75 yards from shore.
"We saw him (Ouding) a few times, before the Coast Guard got there, but then we lost him," said Rosendall. "I felt helpless, I mean totally helpless. We were right there and you knew he was right underneath you somewhere, but you couldn't dive, it was too cold, too murky, you couldn't see."
According to Rosendall, Ouding was stuck between two sandbars in water at least 10 feet deep.
About 20 or so people from a nearby church campground saw what was happening and tried to save the boy.
Lt. Lee Hoeksema with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department said, "They had formed a human chain trying to find the person and at the same time calling 9-1-1 to get responders to come out."
When the dive team located the 13-year-old, they brought him to land and immediately started CPR as he was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to the hospital.
Rosendall said the tragedy that happened in front of both him and the 13-year-old's friends was hard to put into words.
"This is very difficult," he said. "There are a lot of boys in there heartbroken, a lot of parents in there who don't even know what to do or say."