Sunday, August 14, 2011

This Just In, Lake Michigan Can KILL YOU

Okay guys, this is important. As Michigan energizes its tourism industry Lake Michigan lakeshore communites are getting a lot more newcomers to the shoreline who have never been here before.

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, 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.


David.Benjamin said...

Nice post...

I'm with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project and we've been taking some action on this subject.

Here's some info about us:

In 2010 approximately 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents. The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is made up of Great Lakes surfers dedicated to reducing drowning incidents on the Great Lakes. Surfers have a long history of rescues along our coasts. Surfers are often in the water when conditions are most dangerous: high surf and cold water.!/pages/Great-Lakes-Surf-Rescue-Project/120501018657?sk=info

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project consists of two elements:
1. The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class;
2. The “Third Coast Ocean Force” Rip Current Awareness PSA Campaign.

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class is currently FREE and OPEN to the public – Friends, Family, Employees, Employers, Surfers, SUP’ers, Kayakers, Professional Water Rescue Personnel, Social Groups of People, etc.
Event Page:!/home.php?sk=group_129564050452987
The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will teach participants how to:
--Recognize the danger of the surf environment keeping personal safety as THE primary responsibility – Identifying hazardous conditions
--Understand rip currents; i.e. how, where, and why rip currents occur; How to survive rips;
--Know the “Signs of Drowning” – How to identify a person in trouble from within a crowd.
--Summon help
--Use a surfboard or other flotation device to rescue a person in distress or in a rip current
--React when encountering swimmers who have suffered an injury
--React to an unconscious victim
--Enroll in lifesaving, first aid and CPR training from accredited agencies.

The Great Lakes are sometimes referred to as the “Third Coast” of the United States and the “Third Coast” can have "Ocean Force" rip currents during windy weather conditions. Each Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will provide an opportunity to cause rip current awareness through the classroom as well as media opportunities.

Muskegon Critic said...

Glad to see people are organizing to educate the public about this stuff. West Michigan in particular is working to establish a larger tourist based economy and that comes with some new challenges, as it turns out. We want folks to be safe while they enjoy the Great Lakes.