Two 18-year-old cliff jumpers drown near Black Beach in Silver Bay
Photo by Max Fleischmann via Unsplash

Two 18-year-old cliff jumpers drown near Black Beach in Silver Bay

Updated June 27

Two 18-year-olds from the Twin Cities area drowned Sunday afternoon, June 25, after cliff jumping near Black Beach in Silver Bay. Austin Henning, of South St. Paul, and Maximillion Williams, of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, were identified as the drowned teens on June 26, according to Lake County Sheriff Nathan Stadler.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s office, around 1:30 p.m., on June 25, they received a call about two parties’ cliff jumping at Black Beach in Silver Bay who were seen struggling to swim in Lake Superior.

According to authorities, Lake County Search & Rescue responded and requested assistance from St. Louis County Rescue Squad and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Authorities said they responded to the call of two parties’ cliff jumping and then struggling to swim in Lake Superior at 3:25 PM on Sunday. The US Coast Guard dispatched a boat from their Bayfield station as well as a helicopter to assist with the search.

Unfortunately, the first body was found around 6:12 PM while the second was found at 7:39 PM.

“It was wavy and windy, and the water is cold. I don’t know what the temperature was, but it had to be fairly cold,” Stadler said in a statement to the Duluth News Tribune. “So I know that played into the fact that once they got into the water, they struggled and were actually being pulled out away from the shore.”

According to the responding U.S. Coast Guard officials, at the time of the drownings, wind speeds were up to 23 mph and waves were 3-4 feet.

Responding to the scene were the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Search & Rescue, Lake County Ambulance, Silver Bay Police Department, Silver Bay Fire Department, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, and the US Coast Guard.