|Subscribe | What is RSS|
Contact: Bruce Rowe, 219-395-1609
The summer season will again bring millions of visitors to Lake Michigan including the 15-miles of beach located within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Understanding that the lake is a wild and potentially dangerous place can help make sure that a day at the beach doesn’t end in tragedy.
As part of National Water Safety Month, the National Park Service recently hosted a program by Dave Benjamin of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) to help get the word out on enjoying Lake Michigan safely. “Most people do not know that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the nation,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director. “And with summer temps warming up, many people will be flocking to water destinations to enjoy the outdoors.”
The national lakeshore’s Chief Ranger Mike Bremer reminds beach users that staying out of dangerous conditions is the most effective way to stay safe, “Lake Michigan is not a swimming pool. Underestimating the power of the waves is the leading cause of drownings along the lakeshore. While three-foot waves on the ocean are like a roller coaster, on Lake Michigan they are like a churning washing machine that can batter even the best swimmers. Breaking waves tell you that conditions are too rough for swimming. We also need parents to be mindful of their little ones. A small child can easily wander away and become lost in a crowd. Kids are attracted to the water and can slip into and under the water, resulting in a tragedy.”
Lake and Beach Safety flyers are available at the national lakeshore. Pick one up at the park or contact the visitor center’s information desk at 219-395-1882 to request one. There are online resources available from a number of sources including the National Weather Service at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/beach_hazards.shtml, National Water Safety Month information at www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org and the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project at www.GLSRP.org.
Life guards are on duty at the national lakeshore’s West Beach throughout the summer season beginning on Friday, May 22. For more information on swimming or other activities at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, contact the park’s information desk at 219-395-1882 or go to the web page at www.nps.gov/indu.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.