At 4:14pm on Saturday, September 29, 2018, officers from the South Haven Police Department and emergency medical personnel from South Haven Area Emergency Services responded to a 911 call reporting a child buried in the sand near the waters’ edge at the Boy Scout Camp located just north of the Van Buren State Park
Upon the first responding South Haven officers’ arrival, the victim was located with scout leaders performing CPR. The police officer and a volunteer from the South Haven Area Emergency Services took over CPR until an additional officer arrived with an AED. The early resuscitation efforts were able to establish a pulse in the victim. Efforts were then made through difficult terrain including dunes, trails, and water to transport the victim to a waiting ambulance. The ambulance then transported the victim to an awaiting Air Care helicopter at a cleared landing zone nearby that had been established on Blue Star Hwy.
The victim was flown to a Kalamazoo area hospital where he later died as a result of injuries sustained. This incident is still under investigation, however, it appears to be a tragic accident.
The victim has been identified as twelve year old Gage Wilson from Portage, Michigan. His family has been notified. Gage had been participating in a scout activity with Scouts of America.
Autopsy results are pending and further information will be forthcoming.
The South Haven Police Department and South Haven Area Emergency Services would like to extend gratitude to all who assisted including personnel from the Department of Natural Resources, Covert Township Police Department, and several bystanders.
Authority: Natalie Thompson, Chief of Police