Photo by Bob King/Duluth News Tribune
DULUTH, Minn. - A 12-year-old girl clinging to a break wall in Lake Superior was rescued after she and two friends went for a swim in 4-foot waves.
Strong northeast winds and the risk of rip currents created dangerous swimming conditions at Park Point in Duluth Wednesday. The National Weather Service warned about high surf and large swells at area beaches.
Mia Ojanen says she and her friends weren't far from shore and got caught in a rip current.
"We were in, like, four-foot waves and Mikinzie got sucked over to the ladders by the lighthouse wall and she climbed up," Mia's friend Nate Powell told the Duluth News Tribune. "Mia decided to grab onto the wall. She said she couldn't swim very well, so she climbed in a hole."
Ojanen ended up clinging to a grate in a drain in the break wall connected to the south pier.
"There was a hole in the wall, like where the water drain thingy is," Schilling said. "She was hanging onto that. We couldn't get her out of that. Nathan kept saying 'Call the police, call the police.' "
Her friends say Ojanen held onto a grate in a drain on the break wall until rescuers arrived.
Ojanen was brought to shore where paramedics checked her condition.
People caught in a rip current shouldn't fight it. Instead, they should swim to the side, parallel to the shore, until they are out of the current, safety officials said.
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