On August 15th of this year, I disclosed in another thread  SOS Lifeguards   that I was getting the police report regarding the drowning death of Anthony Goldsmith exactly one year previous, due to a variety of viewpoints about the causal effects.  I believe that what happened with Anthony Goldsmith is the reason that lifeguards should be brought back to Ludington's Stearn Beach, and yet an unconvinced minority maintained that lifeguards in the same scenario would not have helped or would have drowned themselves.


BACKGROUND:   The Ludington Daily News (LDN) originally reported that Anthony was swimming with his son when he got caught up in the rip tides and drowned.  The Kalamazoo Gazette reported a more in-depth report of he and his son swimming out into the water to rescue two other people.  12-31-2010, LDN:  A 44-year-old Lawton man drowned in rough water at Stearns Park Aug. 15. A southwestern Michigan newspaper reported Anthony Goldsmith was attempting to help another swimmer in distress when he got into trouble.   Mlive/Kalamazoo 8-16-2010  

Pundits, some who claim they were there, some who claim up and down that lifeguards wouldn't have made a difference, and some who said they would have made all the difference made their points in the comments, but there was never a solid narrative of what actually happened except in that Kalamazoo paper.  Here are three statements and more, of people that were there that day and saw some or all of what happened. 


STATEMENT 1:  Ryan Goldsmith

In the K-zoo report, Ryan's brother related Ryan had said they tried to save two people in distress, yet only one is mentioned here.  Other than that it is fairly consistent with it.  The police report also says that Anthony's wife, mother and father were on the breakwall when it occurred, but they did not have anything to add to Ryan's version of events in their brief statement.


STATEMENT 2:  Audrey Schweikle

Audrey's statement does not mention any other swimmer in the area, and runs counter to some other parts of Ryan's story.  On arrival, a man named Ronnie Whittle said "He's gone, Man." to the r/o and said that he (Anthony) was sucked under at one point after a struggle and never came back up.  Not a statement, per se, but backs Audrey up a little.


STATEMENT 3:  Justin Sadler

Justin again seems to debunk Ryan's assertion of the Goldsmith's being out in the water to save others.  From both her and Audrey's account, they may have both missed this part since neither has a narrative that starts until the calls for help are made.  There is a difference in distance of 30 ft. (from the buoys) in their accounts of where they saw the victim. 


Here's a possible interpretation of what went on that day if we are to assume that each statement made were factual.  Anthony, his wife Sue (who mentions she was on the breakwall when it happened) and their son Ryan were on the breakwall when they heard and saw swimmers in distress over by the south buoys.  Anthony and Ryan swam out in the rough current, taking a little while to get there.  One of the swimmers in trouble managed to get to shore, but the Goldsmiths got to the other and were helping that person back to the breakwall.  But somewhere Anthony tired out, and Ryan and the other (X) got to a 'safe' area before they figured it out.  As 'X' got to the breakwall and dropped out of the picture, Anthony and Ryan began earnestly crying for help.  That's when Audrey, then Justin, came on the scene, as Justin's account has him closer to the swimming buoys.


But Justin's statement should be instructive as to why lifeguards properly equipped and trained would have made this a likely save.  Even though Justin was a late arrival, he was able to go further down the beach, get a kayak to use as a flotation/rescue device and bring it into action in a valiant effort.   A lifeguard would have reacted minutes before, and would have two others to help back him up, and make Anthony and his son not have to enter the water.

The sheer effort of trying to assist in a rescue and fight the current was more than Anthony's 44 year old body could manage that day.  Three lifeguards on duty converging in that area would have made all the difference.

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Fact of the matter is, there is NO SUBSTITUTE for actual Lifeguards on a beach/pool scene. If anyone has actually been a lifeguard now or in the past, and has the knowledge and special training, they know the differences in opinions by novice swimmers vs. experts in the field.

What happens with the life guards is that, even if they see someone in an appropriate area not in trouble they can and will go give a notice like "hey, that's not safe, you need to move" such as away from the break-wall. Also, being up in those towers they can see farther out than people on land and make a much earlier response than a person just hanging out at the park. They are also trained to see the preliminary actions that lead to a person being in distress, meaning,drifting to far out, being in to big of waves etc... the life guard may know the person is going to be in distress by an instinctual feeling and knowledge that comes from the experience of lifeguarding and training. it's hard to explain that part.


I agree AQ.


Sure we can't know for certain what would have happened if the LG's were on the beach in the instances of the recent past, but we can know from some statistics somewhere(probably big beaches on the oceans, as i would think they have them to set their policies) that having a LG on scene is much safer for swimmers than not.

Whether it is cost effected is really what it boils down to, and that brings in lawyers and insurance companies. And thanks to the number of frivolous lawsuits amongst the handful of legitimate ones(in all industries), we now do not have life guards.

If John Shay and his cohorts in the Ludington City Council and Mayor John "Bringing lifeguards back is my greatest accomplishment" Henderson cut the funding for the Ludington Fire Department and we had a hero like Anthony Goldsmith rush into a burning house in cutoff jeans to save others and die would there even be any question of City Hall culpability in his death. 


These clowns had this knowledge of Mr. Goldsmith's death and what did we get?  Life rings, signs, and beach cops


Was there any diagrams with the police report, X?

Maybe "X" will have the good fortune to win the upcoming election and become one of us "clowns".

I would welcome the diversity.  

Actually, I'm an old white male like 5 of 7 of the councilors currently are, so I don't get the diversity reference...

Or is that a reference to my skewed way of thinking?  Can I count this as an endorsement? 

Either way, I'm not getting the big red ball for my nose, the unicycle or the cream pie until the election results are finalized in my favor. 

Nice observation Lando, and quite on cue. Here's a "Current Event" observation TODAY! NOAA pronounced that waves were 3'-6' and conditions were not favorable, 20-25 Knot winds gusting, for swimming at Stearns Park. Yet, when I went there shortly after 1pm, the "NO SWIMMING" signs were absent, not posted at all. Some 50-75 beachgoers were in attendance, and I personally witnessed some 8-10 swimmers in the Water! So where is our astute and attentive "Beach Patrol"??? See the attachments, and tell me yourself, is this wise and prudent, & where is CM Shay's expertise today? This beach patrol person also does NOT impress me with his physical condition for the job, esp. given he's just a WSCC student in the fall, and not at all the physical condition I was in during my tenure as a Lifeguard. Is watching a handful of skaters priority over swimmers Wanda? I welcome your "diversity" on this issue too, thanks. And keep and EyE out for more Torch reports of significance in our hometown.

Thanks for the photo.

This is the first time I have seen one of them up close.

I was never introduce to either of them.

I have to admit I only go down to the dog beach or boat launch.

I see most of the swimming beach from our boat on the way to

the point fishing. Hope you've had a good summer Aquaman.

One of the FOIA requests that were effectively denied to me by FOIA Coordinator Shay by quoting unlawful fees was the actual review of the applications for the Recovery Ranger positions. 

I do know that former police chief and current City Councilor Taranko thought it would not be a good idea for these guys to have any experience in water rescue.  And I know one of our many official City Attorneys, Dick Wilson, is a devout proponent of recovery over rescue, having justified and defended Manistee's actions in the Beck v. Haik case. 

From Aquaman's pictures it looks like the reason for them being there is not beach safety. 

I wasn't referring to gender or age. You love to play with words X. :)

Are you suggesting you have a "skewed" way of thinking?

You just bring out different points of view.

I agree with SOME of your points but NOT all.

Heavens I actually admitted that on this forum. Putting on my "flame" suit!

As for endorsements, I endorsement no one publicly.

Would  just get me in trouble with someone, somewhere.

I hope that the way I vote in a general election is something I can still have as my personal business.

Certainly have found out that too many people think public and private life are one in the same.  That is so sad. 

You may want to think twice about what you want to get into X. lol

Have a peaceful evening everyone.

And I do sometimes leave out the 'LOL's and those nifty 'emoticons', so presume that I may be talking tongue-in-cheek even if I don't ; )  (LOL)

I have thought long and hard about what I may just be getting myself into, and can rationally support both of the following:

1) I lose if I win.

2) I win if I lose.

So either I will be a reluctant victor or be relieved in defeat.  I have found that this was like Ronald Reagan when he ran for California Governor.  He would be taking a very significant pay cut and have a heap of new responsibilities while governing totally counter to what the establishment in California was at the time.  But he sublimated his desires and did it because he thought it was the right thing to do for the solvency of his state.

I think you did touch on a pointed subject, that of, what is the right thing to do, politically, or personally, personally voting and politically calculating the consequences of a vote is the difference between heart and gold sometimes. So, what's the dif between public and personal for our CC Wanda? I just have to wonder, cause if it's the dif between being popular with the fellow council members vs. the public safety, well, then that is the dif between good and bad mostly nowadays imho. There is no "skewed way of thinking" when real human lives are lost, and the public council votes to ignore it, or is there? Your choice.


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