If you're a new visitor to the Great Lakes shoreline over the summer, know this: the lakes can KILL YOU.
In the past two weeks, swimmers from Missouri, Texas, Ohio and Illinois have been rescued at area beaches...
In a series of water rescues Aug. 3, 28 people were pulled from the water at Holland State Park. Of them, a few were locals, Rose said. “Most were from inland or out of state.”
The same story also talks of two men from inland Michigan who got caught in Lake Michigan rip currents and drowned.
Seriously, guys...you need to be careful out there. Don't underestimate the waters because it's called a "lake". Lake Michigan can have powerful waves that come in rapid succession, as well as strong rip currents that can pull swimmers out into the deep water. Even strong swimmers can have a difficult time in these conditions...and if the currents pull you out to very cold water, your body can freeze up and you'll be unable to swim.
If you're unfamiliar with what dangerous lake conditions look like, then try to swim at state or city lakeshore parks and HEED THE FLAG COLORS.
If the flag is RED...DO NOT SWIM.
If the flag is yellow...take caution, and probably keep the kids extra close by or don't let them go in at all.
If the flag is green...all is good. Have fun.
For god's sake guys, BE CAREFUL out there. Michigan welcomes you and there are few places as beautiful and inviting in the world. Lake Michigan is one of the loves of my life and I swim there as often as possible, but you have GOT to have respect for it.