Drowning victim’s older sister tried to save her.

September 21, 2016
Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater. -OCP file photo.

Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater.
-OCP file photo.

#OceanaCountyNews #Pentwater

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated Sept. 22 at 4:33 p.m., reflecting new information from the sheriff’s office that the sister who was with Hannah was her older sister — not her younger sister, as we were initially told. OCP was initially informed that the sister was 9 years old, but we were notified that the sister was actually 17 years old.

PENTWATER — The 10-year-old Lansing girl who drowned in Lake Michigan Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, was paddle boarding with her 17-year-old sister, who tried to save her, according to Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Craig Mast.

Hannah Harris drowned after falling off a paddle board approximately a half mile north of Charles Mears State Park in 3-4 foot waves in between the second and third sand bars, Mast said. Her older sister tried to save her, but also began to struggle and headed for shore, Mast said. Neither girl was wearing a life jacket.

The two girls were staying with their father, who was doing a roofing a job on a nearby cottage on Perry Street in Pentwater, the lieutenant said.

The drowning was a “terrible tragedy,” Mast said.

The sheriff’s office and several other agencies were dispatched to the scene at 3:47 p.m. While first responders were en route, they were advised that the victim had been recovered at 4:20 p.m. Pentwater Police Officer Xander Schulz was the first on scene and began CPR at 4:23 p.m.

Hannah’s drowning was the fourth drowning in Oceana County waters this summer.

Local fishermen Steven Bruce, 62, and Brian Waslusky, 53, both drowned in Lake Michigan in August near the Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Golden Township last August. The men entered the water that was over 100 feet deep from a boat in an attempt to net a fish. Neither were wearing a life jacket.

Matthew Vo, 28, of Southfield, Michigan drowned in Lucky Lake in Grant Township in June during the Lakes of Fire festival. Toxicology results indicate that Vo also had also ingested several drugs, including cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and the horse tranquilizer ketamine, prior to his death. Vo also was not wearing a life jacket.

Bruce’s and Waslusky’s toxicology results have not yet been released.

Help Fund Local News

Please consider helping us keep local news active by sending a PayPal payment.

Subscribe to OCP via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,758 other subscribers