Great Lakes Surfing Association
Beach & Pier Safety Database / Grand Haven Pier Fatalities


Bathing at Highland Park in the late 1920s

2.   July 4, 1929:   Mildred Fifield, 16, was washed off the south pier into the channel by 10-12 foot waves near the lighthouse.  She made  three valiant attempts to swim back to the pier but was lost.  Earlier, three boys were washed off the south pier and barely saved by the Coast Guard.  Her friend, Marie Voigt, survived by hanging on to a catwalk stanchion. An hour later nine swimmers were lost in a rip current just south of the pier (pictured in above photo).  This tragedy was the largest of its kind on the Great Lakes, before or since.

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