HOLLAND (WHTC-AM/FM) — Holland resident Don Mishoe got a jolt while boating with friends on Lake Michigan on August 3.
He thought he knew Lake Michigan well, and felt comfortable making a shallow dive off the boat, which was about 200 yards off the shoreline just north of Oval Beach.
Then his foot hit something, about 3-and-a-half feet underwater. He tested it, standing on what turned out to be an old pier piling. He found a few more, and, since he was in the water, helped the boat’s owner ensure there had been no damge to the hull.
“We felt a bump,” Mishoe said, but it had been shrugged off until Mishoe encountered the piling.
As he was falling asleep that night, Mishoe has an uncomfortable feeling. At 58 and a boater, he thought he knew Lake Michigan pretty well.
“I thought, you know what? If I would of dove in and hit one of these I could have been paralyzed, severely injured, possibly broke my neck,” he said.
He posted the photo on Facebook, sharing his story and warning others of the danger.
“My fear is what would happened as I dove off of the boat and hit one of these concrete fixtures head on? Injury? Spinal cord problems leading to being paralyzed? Or even breaking my neck causing death?” he wrote, in parl “They are just North of Oval Beach – South of the old Dennison Private Beach sign… So please BEWARE!!!”
The pilings are visible from Google Earth and some of the comments on Mishoe’s Facebook post indicate that they are visible during low-water years.
But that’s not enough for Mishoe, who often prays for the safety of himself, his family and others. He’s making phone calls. He’s looking for the responsible party who may be able to remove the pilings.
Until then, he wants everyone to know where they are.
WHTC listener Kerry Dewey emailed the following note:
“The pylons in question are from the original Saugatuck channel. It went through an area called Fishtown that is now the area by Ox-Bow. You can research more information at Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society site http://sdhistoricalsociety.org/collections/collections.phpAlso – here is a more recent photo of area https://saugatuckdunescoastalalliance.com/gallery/old-pier-to-fishtown/“
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