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Lake Michigan drownings up 58% over last year

Posted: 4:06 AM, Jul 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-26 04:06:33-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As officials continue to search for a missing father who drowned at Ludington State Park , a group is urging safety on the water this weekend.

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project says Lake Michigan drownings are up 58% over this date in 2018 and the numbers are likely to continue to rise.

In 2019 the GLSRP is tracking 44 Great Lakes drownings; 22 of those in Lake Michigan.

“The ‘4 W’s – warm, wind, waves and weekend- may come into play this weekend bringing more people to the beach. Winds are the primary source of the dangerous currents on the Great Lakes,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP Executive Director.

“Southernly winds blowing this weekend can cause offshore wind conditions for Indiana, side-offshore winds for northern Illinois, southwest Wisconsin, and southeast Michigan.

“As the winds travel farther north, the winds will also create waves and dangerous currents such as longshore currents, rip currents, and structural currents. The south sides (windward sides) of all piers will be the most turbulent and dangerous spots on Lake Michigan.”

AN OVERVIEW OF GREAT LAKES DROWNINGS

74 drownings in 2010
87 in 2011
99 in 2012
67 in 2013
54 in 2014
55 in 2015
99 in 2016
88 in 2017
117 in 2018
44 to date in 2019
784 since 2010