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Kathy and John Kocher hold a family photo of their son Matthew Kocher, who drowned in 2013, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Gillson Park in Wilmette. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

On July 27, 2013, 15-year-old Matthew Kocher was away from home on a camp trip to New Buffalo City Beach in New Buffalo, Michigan, earning community service hours for school. While standing in the shallow Lake Michigan waters, Kocher got caught in a rip current.

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“We were basically pool people, like most people,” John Kocher (pictured in orange), Matthew’s father, said.

Matthew had little experience in open water. Kocher suspects his son and several other people in his camp group, were unaware that the waving red flags on the beach signaled hazardous water condition

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