SHEBOYGAN -- Officials on Sunday night, July 17th suspended the search and recovery efforts in Lake Michigan near the South Pier after three fishermen were swept into the water by high waves. One of the men was rescued, and was taken to the hospital. He was expected to be released Sunday night. Two men remain missing.
It happened shortly before 4:00 p.m.
Officials learned of three men in the water in trouble as a result of high wind and waves. They were apparently on the pier when a wave knocked them into the water.
"They were actually standing on the pier. They were fishermen on the pier that got washed in by the waves," Keith Risse with the Sheboygan Fire Department said.
"The situation out there is perilous. It`s highly dangerous out there. The undertow is incredible. It`ll take you right off your feet. A gallon of water weighs 8.5 pounds. What`s the weight of a wave? You get hit with that? You get taken right off that structure," Larry "Longboard" Williams, an experienced surfer said.
The United States Coast Guard, Sheboygan Fire Department, Sheboygan Police Department Sheboygan County Dive Team, Sheboygan County Dive Support, Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department, Sheboygan County Sheriff's Boat Patrol, and a Coast Guard helicopter all responded to the scene.
As shore responders arrived at the base of the pier, they were notified by the Coast Guard that one of the men had been rescued from the water and was on their boat. That rescued person was handed off to Sheboygan Fire Department paramedics, assessed and transported to Sheboygan Aurora Memorial Medical Center.
Officials said he was expected to be treated and released Sunday.
Two other men remain missing.
"Our heart goes out to the families," Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen said.
The Sheboygan County Dive Team was unable to continue a dive operation because of the treacherous water conditions and therefore suspended operations Sunday evening around 6:00 p.m.
Boat and helicopter searches continued until about 9:45 p.m. Sunday when officials said the search and recovery efforts were suspended.
"We are hoping to continue the recovery operation at 0800 hours on Monday," officials said in a statement.
Lake conditions will be assessed Monday morning and a decision will be made as to whether to resume operations.
In a statement released Monday morning, officials said just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday, two additional fishermen who were fishing on the South Pier were swept by a wave. Due to the numerous search and rescue vessels in the area, the two fishermen were rescued within a minute and were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
South Pier has been closed to the public.
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard asked Sunday that people stay away from the coast of Lake Michigan.
We're told on Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard officials responded to 10 rescue calls within a two-hour period -- as people were being swept into the water by high waves and high wind.