City: Lifeguards still not the best way to make beaches safer

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - Waters along the beaches of Grand Haven were much calmer Tuesday, but red flags were flying on Sunday, when two people drowned in high waves and strong currents.

Three other people were rescued by bystanders forming human chains.

Grand Haven State Park Beach and many other beaches in Michigan do not have lifeguards and haven't for quite a while.  City Manager Pat McGinnis tells FOX 17 that the flags, not lifeguards, are still the best way to prevent drownings.

"People do generally know what that means," said McGinnis. "Looking at an angry lake like that would seem to be intuitive that you wouldn't want to go into it. You don't need to look for a warning system and decide not to go into it.  You can't get into the state park without driving past the little sign that tells you what the different colors mean and you see the different flags.  There are several of them up and down the beach."

One Grand Haven resident who has been part of rescues in the past says lifeguards would help.

"A lifeguard's duty isn't just to save people," says Zebulon Boeskool. "I lived in Maui a little bit. They enforced drinking laws, all sorts of stuff."

The best way to stay safe at the beach is to stay out of the water when there are high risk beach conditions.


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1 Comment

  • Mac Woods

    People drown in swimming pools in public parks. The problem isn’t water temperature or wave conditions. It is people overestimating their abilities and simultaneously underestimating conditions. In other words, lack of common sense.

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