Woman in Lake Michigan swimming incident dies 1 month before her wedding

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Paige Berndt

OZAUKEE COUNTY -- As the search for a missing swimmer continues, memorial services are planned for his fiancee. The two were involved in an incident on Lake Michigan in Ozaukee County on Monday, Aug. 20.

Paige Berndt, 32, died from her injuries Monday night following the swimming incident. Her mother, Lauralie Blader, tells FOX6 News she was prepared for Paige's wedding, not her death.

"She was the inspiration in my life," said Blader.

Berndt was in a terrible accident while swimming at Harrington Beach State Park. The rip currents were powerful and tossed the swimmers; Berndt was critically injured. Her fiance, 34-year-old Ahmad Zahi Adl, is missing.

Blader got a phone call in Akron, Ohio notifying her of the incident. When she arrived, Berndt was already gone.

Lauralie Blader

"I felt bad that she was by herself, but she was very spiritual," Blader said.

Blader was told Berndt tried to swim to Adl and save him but couldn't.

"That's Paige. She would have helped him absolutely. She would have not thought of what it would sacrifice for herself to go out there after him," Blader said.

Paige Berndt

Paige Berndt

Berndt and Adl were to be married in one month. Inside Berndt's apartment, you can see how she had prepared for it.

"She had made all these things by hand for I think the arbor and tables," Blader explained. "She was going to have everyone have glasses for the pictures. These are gifts for everyone in the bridal party."

Blader was preparing for the family viewing of Berndt's body on Friday.

"This is the final goodbye," said Blader.

Lauralie Blader

Adl's family was planning to be there, too.

Blader says the couple had not only planned their wedding but had decided on names for their future children.

"He was a good man," said Blader.

A memorial service is planned for Berndt's loved ones at Water Street Brewery Sunday, Aug. 26 where she worked.

A GoFundMe page has also been created for Berndts' memorial expenses.

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