Girls saved from Lake Michigan waters by two off-duty heroes

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Rescue life rings are expected to be installed on a southwest Michigan pier along the shores of Lake Michigan before Memorial Day weekend. St. Joseph commissioners have approved a plan for a dozen life rings along the city's North Pier where historic lighthouses are located. The city was one of the few communities along Lake Michigan that hadn't installed rings on its pier. The 20-inch rings and 90-foot-throw lines are estimated to cost about $6,450. An anonymous donor has helped cover some expenses, bringing the final cost around $5,000, according to City Manager John Hodgson. He said St. Joseph is concerned with liability, but Mayor Mike Garey stressed that saving lives should be the top priority. City officials previously discussed installing the rescue devices, but commissioners expressed concern over the rings being stolen or going missing. The piers were equipped with life rings in 1994, but 200 of them turned up missing that summer. More than 20 were never recovered. The U.S. Coast Guard, Berrien County and the city of St. Joseph abandoned the effort over liability concerns. The Berrien County Sheriff's Department has volunteered to inspect the pier daily to check on any missing rings and make sure they're replaced.

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — An off-duty emergency medical technician and an off-duty lifeguard are credited with saving two girls from rough waters in Lake Michigan off of an Indiana pier.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Superior Ambulance EMT Devin Newton and Deep River Waterpark lifeguard Myles Wright were at the Michigan City pier Tuesday when they heard the girls screaming for help.

The DNR says Newton tried to throw a life ring to them, but strong winds made it difficult. Wright climbed into the water on rocks while being battered by waves and got the life ring to the girls. The girls were pulled to safety and reunited with family.

Conservation officers say the girls were gone before investigators arrived, but they’re believed to be about 12 years old and from Illinois.

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