Recent increase of drownings in the Great Lakes causing concerns
There currently have been 48 drownings as of July 31st of this year. Nearly half of those drownings have been in Lake Michigan. Although there are still a number of drownings happening in other Great Lakes.
Cheryl Podtburg, the Risk and Safety Manager at the Duluth YMCA, said that more drownings can happen later this summer. “Lake Superior does tend to get warmer in August. Of course, that’s when people want to be in Lake Superior.” Podtburg said.
Podtbgu said one of the many factors that go into drowning prevention is being mindful of the weather. Especially since August is one of the more windier months for swimming in Lake Superior.
“We’ll start to see warm waters with the dangerous currents and a lot more people in the lake during their summer vacations and the last hurrah before school starts in the fall.”
To help reduce the recent increase of drownings, Podtburg advocated the use of life vests when swimming in the Great Lakes. “Never go swimming by yourself. Even lifeguards don’t go swimming by themselves. Always having other people with you, Podtburg said.
“The most important thing is not to go after them. There are some ring buoys along the Park Point Beach in a few different places that you can use to throw to a person. We always say reach, or throw, don’t go.”