Courier-Leader & Flashes News

Paw Paw officer saves mother, two boys in Lake Michigan

Lt. Eric Rottman, at right

By Kaitlyn Campbell

A mother and her two boys from Hudsonville after safe after a longtime Paw Paw police officer rescued them from their struggle in Lake Michigan.
On July 17, Paw Paw Police Lt. Eric Rottman was on vacation at Stearns Beach in Ludington. He was leaving the beach shortly after 12:30 p.m. when he noticed two boys from Hudsonville, who are 7 and 10 years old, struggling in the water and caught in a rip current, their mother crying out for help.
The mother jumped in the water to go after the 7-year-old, and Rottman dove in to help the 10-year-old, pulling him towards shallow waters, and called 911. He then noticed that the mother and the 7-year-old were struggling in the water.
Rottman went back into the water towards the mother and the 7-year-old. The officer’s sister-in-law threw two life preservers in the water. He grabbed both of them, swimming them back to the shore and carrying the mother out of the water. A kit surfer, Frank Swartz, had also jumped in the water to bring the 10-year-old to safety.
The mother was taken to the hospital and was evaluated. She was later released, and everyone involved was ok.
The Ludington Police Department later released a statement, urging people to comply with signs that indicate no-swimming areas. They also wanted to remind people not to swim next to break-water structures, especially during more rough conditions.

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