10/21/13

In the news: Be aware of the Great Lakes’ dangers as well as their beauty

Each of the Great Lakes is a natural wonder, but the basic facts of their formation and location also makes them dangerous. Each year swimmers and boaters struggle with dangers from weather and riptides. 

From MLive.com
"According to the National Weather Service, there were seven fatalities and 14 rescues on the Great Lakes caused at least partially by currents in the water. Lake Michigan had the most incidents as is typically the case. There are a few reasons why Lake Michigan is the most dangerous year after year. First is the combination of highest population and one of the warmer waters. Second is the shape of the lake which makes it conducive to rip currents.

This year did not have as many fatalities and rescues as compared to past years. The main reason for this was the colder summer keeping the number of swimmers down.

While currents caused by rip tides are dangerous, the most often cited reason for a rescue is structural. Piers and other structures make dangerous currents and create locations for injuries.
While the swimming season may be over, another very dangerous time on the Great Lakes is here. Fall is a season I've found to be most dangerous, especially on Saginaw Bay. Some duck hunters and fishers take unwise risks just to shoot a duck or catch a fish."
Read the rest of the article at the link above, and learn more about how to avoid some of the dangers from rip currents with the National Weather Service’s rip current awareness website.

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