Updated: June 09, 2021 11:03 AM
Created: June 09, 2021 10:57 AM
Strong winds will increase wave action along Park Point and Wisconsin Point beaches on Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazard Statement which is in effect until 9:00 p.m. A Beach Hazard Statement means there will be dangerous swimming conditions are expected along the Lake Superior shoreline due to high wave action and strong rip currents.
The waves can make swimming difficult. Incoming waves in rapid succession can tire a experienced swimmer quickly.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from the shore. They occur most often at low spots in sandbars, near shoreline structures and near river mouths.
On Saturday, June 5 two teenage boys were caught in high waves and rip currents on Park Point. One boy made it to shore, but the other drifted about 350 feet out into Lake Superior. The teen was rescued by Marine-19.
Duluth firefighters remind residents and visitors how fast conditions can change on Lake Superior.
“The conditions could be fantastic one minute here and change drastically the next,” Captain Kevin Haney said Sunday. “As we saw yesterday, we had a big switch in the winds and the waves picked up which brought in rip currents and a couple of individuals got trapped in them.”
When swimming, it is important to stay in groups and look out for one another. Parents and guardians should watch children at all times and have them wear lifejackets even on calm days.
If you are caught in a rip current, firefighters say not to panic. Relax, and let the rip current take you out. Rip currents weaken as they move further away from shore, and eventually stop. Swim to either side, parallel with the land until you are away from the pull of the rip current. Then swim back to shore.
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