PORT SHELDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — This year was the deadliest on record on the Great Lakes, with over 100 drownings. Among those who died was 20-year-old Brandon Schmidt, who drowned in Lake Michigan in August.
His mother Brandi Donley is now hoping to improve safety at Windsnest Park in Port Sheldon Township, north of Holland, where her son was swimming when he went under the water. She believes her son's death could have been prevented.
“My family and I have suffered greatly over the last three months. I lost a huge part of myself that day that I will never get back," Donley told township board members at their Thursday meeting. "There are no signs, no safety equipment, no emergency equipment and a lot of training and education that needs to take place."
She said time was a factor in her son's death. The first responders to the scene did not have the training to enter the water, so they had to wait for help to arrive.
"The officers who were there apparently weren’t even trained to get in the water, even though they were first responders and they worked around the Great Lakes. You would think that would be a necessity; however, that wasn’t the case," Donley said.
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