Massive Human Chain Tries to Rescue Swimmers Caught in Lake Michigan Rip Current

Playing 40 Strangers Form Chain to Rescue Swimmers on Lake Michigan

More than 40 good Samaritans formed a human chain in a bid to save swimmers caught in a deadly rip current on Lake Michigan Sunday.

Despite their efforts, two people died. Three others were saved.

"The Great Lakes are notorious for [rip currents]," "Good Morning America" meteorologist Ginger Zee told Inside Edition.

When Zee was living and working in the area, "we had deaths every single summer," she added.

"If you do end up getting caught in a rip current, stay calm and swim parallel to the shore. Rip currents come out perpendicular to the shore – they grab you and they push you far away,” Zee said. “If you are able to swim parallel to the shore you will feel it loosen.” 

There were red flags warning people to stay out of America’s third largest lake Sunday.  

The National Weather Service says the waves measured three to five feet.

Becky Vargo, a reporter with the Grand Haven Tribune, recorded video of the human chain. Vargo says the Coast Guard gave the volunteers specific directions.

“They told everybody to shuffle their feet to make sure they are touching the bottom so they don’t miss if somebody is laying on the bottom,” she said.

The human chain was able to reach a 64-year-old man but he was later pronounced dead in hospital, officials said.

Nearly four hours later, a 20-year-old man was pulled from the water and also died.

Three other people were taken to hospital, and one is in serious condition, officials said.

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