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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Wanda, and anybody else in a position of authority, it's your JOB, and DUTY, to be informed and to see these things IN PERSON, not just Judge and VOTE by what you are TOLD by others. As Pappy used to say, Get off the POT when you're done, or do YOUR DUTY!!! SXXT or get off the POT!

Again I am glad I donned the flame suit. No wonder no one else on the CC writes on here. Nothing that the Ludington CC does seems to be acceptable here.


I only see "X" is making the effort with his election bid, to make a change on the CC. I applauded you "X". It's not an easy job.


I read alot of "gripes", but never see any of you at the CC meetings to

voice your "gripes".

The meetings are "video taped" and televised on channel 98 or available at the library, so your concern's cannot be construed.


 For the "fourth" warder''s or any of the citizens you haven't called me/or emailed me with concerns. Except for Aquaman he has call me.

I'm not hiding people, neither are the other CC members.


I agree aquaman, I should have made the effort to meet these men.

Keep in mind that the CC does not actually hirer these guys. We approved the payroll for the hires.

(I was surprised and pleased that money was found for a human presents down there in any form. It's a start.)

I doubt that I am not the only one on the CC that has not met these gentlemen.

Was a mistake on my part not seeking them out to meet them.

Enough of my "concerns" for the day.


Wanda forgive me jumping in here but XL was banned from going anywhere near your meetings without police escort.

This very fact would tend to bar him from showing up or if he did being taken very seriously would it not?

I don't mean to hurt the guys feelings in AQ's pictures but he does not look like he would have the stamina or endurance to save a person out on the lake. Maybe I am wrong but most heavier people(myself as well, the freshman 15 never went away) who don't exercise daily couldn't do a lake rescue.


It definitely appears that recovery over rescue is the way the people who came up with this beach patrol are thinking.


Another excellent job on fact gathering



Did you ever consider the consequences a citizen of Ludington faces if they buck the established authority. X did it and look at the hard handed approach those in power have taken to give him as much grief as possible. A small town can be a bad place to raise questions of governmental misdeeds. I appreciate your comments and courage to establish contact on this forum but it is up to elected officials to see that government operates in a moral and ethical manner and so far I have seen no evidence of that from any of those that have been put in power to serve the public, either from those that are involved with questionable ethics or those that sit quietly and do nothing to solve the problem or at least check into any situation that appears to be a "shady dealing". This "code of silence" and hand sitting has been a long time practice of Ludington officials.

Good reply Willie, I mentioned some time ago that just attending CC meetings doesn't get the wheel oiled, they usually refer the public back to some committee, where some are closed to the public, for any given number of reasons, and others may be open to just sit and listen, not partake in motions. So, having said that, let's remember that X got "banned from LPD/City Hall" just for asking for FOIA information too. CC members say get involved, then when you try to, you get the "shut out", for being in polite disagreement. No win situation all around, until someone in the city limits decides to run for an opening. I remember Fred Hackert ran, sat on CC for several years, he was chastised and out voted mostly, making him the underdog and outcast. Not a fun position for a prudent businessman to have to deal with when he has better and more lucrative things to do. There is a strong structure there intact that needs dismantling from the base up to get the locals what is deserved and paid for in their taxes. Trouble is when anyone tries, they get mowed down by the political machine in place that are experts in trick-shot politics. Apathy is high due to just what X has had happen to his personal life, who needs that?

I rest my case. If you can't get past all this apathy and actively be involved, how do you except to get real solutions.

Complaining here with only one CC member willing to read this will get you no where.

I may be quiet on the public CC meetings, but that doesn't mean I am quiet behind the "camera".

Believe me if I were, you and I would be still paying every dime of the  police and DPW workers and other union workers medical insurance. Did the involved tax payer know that. I doubt it.

So you know, other than the two committees that I am on. I am not notified when other committees are holding meetings. I'd have to call City Hall  myself, find out when it is and if it is open. So don't think it's just those in "position of authority" that are "all in the know" that is simplely not true.

Only the involved public can change things.


I thank you for your involvement in such things Wanda, and your candor here.  I hope we can both assist the public in order to change things for the better if I can get on the Council.  As well, I hope you can assist us here as members of the 'involved public' to correct some of the shortcomings that have been pointed out if I don't.

What you have just said about committee meetings is a case in point.  All of these meetings should be open meetings, with public postings of when and where they meet.  But is it publicly posted at City Hall when these meetings meet and all the other requirements of the Open Meetings Act-- no, it isn't.

To whit, the OMA says a "public body" is any local legislative body, including a board, commission, committee, subcommittee...  And then 'All meetings of a public body shall be open to the public and shall be held in a place available to the general public.'  

Let's also not forget that a meeting cannot start off as 'closed'-- that is illegal-- the meeting must start off open and a set of rules exist for closing it. 

Lastly, the OMA also says "A person shall not be excluded from a meeting otherwise open to the public except for a breach of the peace actually committed at the meeting."  I have been excluded from all public meetings at the City Hall since March 1, 2011 by an illegal Bill of Attainder that all City Councilors voted for under the guise of a "Workplace Safety Policy".  

Keep the flame suit handy:  Wanda, do you regret that vote, and why or why not? 


No I don't.

I do wish in hindsight that I would have known more at the time.


Your statement would seem to indicate that this one policy was instituted (as some have told me) to deal with a certain upstart ex-firefighter who became an involved citizen, rather than with a generic person whose actions have warranted a Letter of Trespass.  How can the public become involved when they get swatted down by the machine known as Ludington City Hall when they do? 

You are part of the problem, Wanda, if you think legislating away the Fifth Amendment rights of any citizen who exercises his right to make a FOI request and his First Amendment rights on an electonic watchblog is OK.   

You have given the City Manager the power to keep any citizen he does not politically agree with from coming to any Ludington public meeting or public place without needing to show any reason.  That goes against the State (and the Federal) Constitution, as does granting the City Attorney judicial powers.  Here's the Workplace Safety Policy which you looked over and approved without discussion. 

Like I said, too many of these councilors, as Wanda herself has admitted, just vote blindly to go along and get along, no problem. When you vote to cancel and intentionally defy citizens rights guaranteed by State and Federal Constitutions, what kind of government can you expect to exist here locally, absolutely illegal and immoral. And all with a disguise of legitimacy.....NOT! Sounds more like a Pelosi vote, just vote for it, you'll find out what's in it later...........that is Good Government? NOT!

I didn't see your name on the policy. 

I already know you want to relieve Mr. Shay, the mayor, the city attorney, the chief of police, CC, some LPD of their duties. You do not make a secret of it.

Give me ideas of what you would do, rewrite the document you just attached,or write a new one. 




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