GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — In the summer of 2018 more than 100 people drowned in the Great Lakes, three of those individuals in the waters of Lake Michigan by the Grand Haven lakeshore.
Now, community officials are banding together, announcing new safety tools at Friday's "Beach Safety Initiative" on the Grand Haven Beach.
The Rotary Club of Grand Haven, City of Grand Haven, Grand Haven Department of Public Safety, and the State of Michigan have partnered to try and minimize the number of future fatalities.
The first of the Beach Safety Initiatives is 14 red zonal signs meant to help rescue crews find exactly where an emergency is happening.
"So now we’ve got zonal signs about 300 feet apart that can be identified when a caller makes a call to the rescue personnel," explained Dave Swain, president of the Rotary Club of Grand Haven.
Also included in the initiatives is a new flag pole to display warning flags, extra rigging rope and life rings to throw to those in distress, water rescue goggles for emergency personnel, and a safety message that will be playing on loop on AM 1700.
"This message does warn motorists of dangerous water conditions and will explain the new flag system," Swain said.
These safety measures are thanks to a $7,500 donation from the Rotary Club of Grand Haven.
While the club acknowledges future drownings can’t be completely prevented, they want to do everything in their power to stop them.
"Are we going to do everything we can to help those who slip below the waves? Of course we are. I think we’ve got a good start on that process," says Swain.
The Rotary Club of Grand Haven is also creating a maintenance fund for future safety needs on the lake shore.
They ask that everyone who goes to the beach this summer make themselves aware of the safety tools around them.