Child dies in Michigan boating accident on Lake Michindoh

An 11-year-old girl who was struck by a boat in a south Michigan lake died after being taken to the hospital, officials with the Department of Natural Resources say.

The fatal boating accident happened on Lake Michindoh, which is offshore of the Michindoh Conference Center near Hillsdale. The lake is next to a Christian camp.

According to a release from the DNR, a lifeguard from the conference center was operating a passenger boat and pulling a large inflatable tube shaped like a banana. Twelve children and a 29-year-old woman were riding the non-motorized float around 3 p.m. on July 27 when the incident occurred.

At one point during the afternoon, three children fell from the banana boat into the water.

The operator, a 25-year-old, returned to pick up the children when the vessel struck a fourth child - an 11-year-old girl who was not previously seen in the water. The DNR said the man operating the boat "immediately" jumped into the water to help the child.

At the same time, a woman from the conference center called 911 for an ambulance. 

The child was then taken to the dock where she was met by emergency officials who initiated life-saving procedures. The girl was then rushed to the Hillsdale County Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. 

READ NEXT: First case of Beech leaf disease in Michigan detected in St. Clair County

An investigation is being led by the DNR. They said all children were wearing life jackets and helmets during their time on the lake. 

Alcohol and drugs are also not believed to be a factor. The weather conditions were also favorable for boating and the boat on the lake was the only vessel operating when the incident occurred. 

The boat operator also has a Michigan boater safety certificate and is cooperating with the investigation.