Recent Lake Michigan tragedies

There have been some recent examples of people getting into trouble when strong winds blew them away from shore.

We just had several local tragedies where winds blowing directly towards the shore created strong rip currents that overwhelmed swimmers.

A serious lake. Never turn your back on Lake Michigan.

My cousin’s first husband and their 13 year old son drowned in Lake Michigan off Pentwater Beach when one of those sudden squalls blew in on late on what had been a beautiful summer day in 1993. Both were strong swimmers and lived near that beach, swam and body surfed there all the time. The investigation seemed to indicate that the son was being dragged off by the rip current and his father tried to swim out to him – his body washed up as the brief storm lulled, apparently battered by the breakwater. It was several days before the son’s body was located more than a mile offshore.

Today is a “moderate risk” day for swimming on Lake Michigan so yellow flags are flying on beaches with enough staffing to fly flags. Yellow means “swim with caution” while red means “no swimming” and green means “OK to swim”. I have to wonder why they don’t just use green or red.