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Woman called a hero after saving three children from drowning in Lake Michigan

[May 28, 2021: Taylor Nimmo]

A Manistee woman is being called a hero after saving three kids from drowning near the First Street Beach Pier.

“I am so thankful I was where I was at,” Alyssa Dewitt said. “I don’t know if they would have gotten out alive if I had not seen them.”

Alyssa was on the beach with her kids, when she saw arms waving in the water.

Rip currents had pulled a group of children all under the age of 15 out deeper and deeper into Lake Michigan, and they couldn't get out.

“I ran to the edge of the pier. They couldn’t even keep their heads above water at that point. I called 911 immediately,” Alyssa said. “I don’t think that they could hear me. I couldn’t hear them. The best I could do was scream into the phone we needed help there were kids drowning.”

She said she knew if she waited, the kids wouldn’t make it out of the water alive.


“I put my phone down with 911 on and laid down over the side of the pier and told them what to do, reach for my hand,” Alyssa said. “Every time I would get them part way up a wave would smash them back down.”

At times, losing hope.

“This part will stick with me forever. This girl looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to die.’ It makes me cry every time I think about it,” Alyssa said. “I said ‘I promise you. I am not going to let you die out here. I will get you out of this water.’”

And she did.

“I pulled every single one of them out over that pier wall. I don’t know how, but I did,” Alyssa said.

“A lot of tears and hugs were shared yesterday. I know they were thankful.”


Manistee police arrived just minutes after they got out.

“Thankfully, all parties involved sustained minor injuries, but without the actions of this heroic young lady could have easily turned out differently,” Manistee City Police Chief Josh Glass said. “Especially being a father of young children, it’s extremely impressive the way this young lady called to action without hesitation and I think it’s pretty obvious what would have happened if she wasn’t there.”

Alyssa is also 5 months pregnant. She went to the emergency room last night, to make sure her baby was okay, since she was laying on her stomach on the pier- both her, and the baby are safe.


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