Michigan June 28, 2017
Lake Michigan Is Silently Killing Dozens Of Beachgoers Each Year And It’s Truly Heartbreaking
With summer finally upon us and water temperatures warming up, more and more people are beginning to flock towards our local beaches. Those who are native to the Great Lakes State are more aware than most of the dangers that come along with swimming at these locations, but not everyone who visits here is as educated as some our residents. With more tragedies predicted to come in 2017, here’s what you should know before cooling off at one of Lake Michigan’s beaches.
While our beautiful white sandy beaches may initially look quite harmless and relaxing, 2016 was the worst year for drownings throughout the Great Lakes since back in 2012.
Doubling in numbers from 2015, last year the Great Lakes experienced an upsetting amount of deaths that continued to give locals a cause for concern.
Last year Lake Michigan alone experienced nearly 50 deaths, with many of the incidents involving rip currents and/or people swimming in prohibited areas.
Thanks to websites like
www.weather.gov, you can easily see just how much more deadly Lake Michigan is in comparison to all of the other Great Lakes.
Take the number of deaths that have occurred in Lake Michigan over the last 10 years and you'll see that the staggering numbers are almost equivalent to all of the other Great Lakes fatalities combined. This body of wonder has continuously proven itself to be one that is dangerous and an underestimated child of Mother Nature.
One of the ways that the state of Michigan attempts to keep swimmers safe is by now using Beach Flag Warnings.
Those visiting beaches out along Lake Michigan will find either a Green, Yellow or Red flag warning on shore. With obvious meanings, the red flag means you should stay out of the water, the yellow flag means you should swim with caution and the green flag means it's okay to swim but that you should still be alert for any changes in the water. Swimmers can also find life jackets and flotation devices to take advantage of and to borrow at the beaches while they're in the water.
To find out further information about Michigan's Beach Flag Warnings and more beach safety,
With a lack of lifeguards and powerful currents, Lake Michigan's eastern coastline continues to be the deadliest when it comes to water-current-related accidents.
A bittersweet fate, some of the Great Lake's most beautiful beaches are also the ones that happen to be the most dangerous. Not only are these bodies of water naturally dangerous, the lack of funding to provide every beach with lifeguards is what many believe has contributed to the rise in fatalities over the years.
Bottom line? If you decide to escape the summer sun with a trip to one of Lake Michigan's beaches, be sure you're educated on how to keep yourself safe and what to avoid.
An element that can be easy to feel comfortable in, swimmers frequently underestimate just how strong Lake Michigan and rip currents can be. If you manage to find yourself in a rip current while you're out in the water, there are a couple of useful tips that you'll want to know.
If you're swimming and end up in a rip current, don't fight it. These strong waters will quickly tire you out, but if you swim parallel with the shoreline you should eventually be able to make your way out of the current. If you make it out you'll almost certainly find yourself farther away from shore than you'd hope to be, but you should be able to make your way back to land once again. If you end up in a situation where you can't swim out of the current, float and do your best to wave for help.
Have you ever found yourself stuck in a rip current or dealing with the harsh water of Lake Michigan? If you plan on swimming at any of these beaches, be sure to stay safe and pay attention to any and all signage and Beach Flag Safety Warnings that are posted.