Drownings are more common in the summer months, Frankfort Beach safety precautions

In northern Michigan, drownings become more common during the summer months. With the high temperatures, people often find themselves cooling off at the beach or lake. But there are a few safety tips to keep in mind before jumping into the water.

“Weather conditions can change, water currents can change, everything can change. Safety is paramount when near any type of water. Says Frankfurt Fire Chief Michael Cederholm.

Cederholm has always been a strong believer in learning to swim. He says it’s the most important precaution you can take when it comes to swimming in any body of water.

“Any place that offers training and swimming, I definitely encourage taking it if you’re unsure.” said Cederholm.

He also recommends using a flotation device if you still feel uncomfortable. To find an appropriate life jacket for you or your family, Cederholm advises finding a store that offers Coast Guard-approved vests specific to a particular age and weight.

As for young children, Cederholm says to make sure they don’t venture out alone. Adult supervision is important when children are in or near the water, including walking on the Frankfort Beach Pier.

“Even though the waters appear calm, they are sometimes very, very dangerous.” said Cederholm.

Rip currents are a specific hazard commonly found in the Great Lakes. The rip currents create undertow that can pull people underwater and further into the lake. Cederholm strongly encourages not trying to fight a rip current as it will pull you down. Instead, it says to swim parallel to the shore and at a slight angle until you reach the shore.

If you panic, instead of struggling in the water, Cederholm says to float. Floating can help you relax and stay calm in the water until you feel comfortable again or you can get help.

Luckily, Frankfort Beach is one of two places connected to the Great Lakes that has a Swimsmart warning system that warns swimmers of dangerous water conditions.

This year, the city was able to upgrade the system by installing a weather station that provides real-time wind speed, humidity and temperature. There was also a camera installed on the lighthouse which allows operators to remotely check the weather and waves for the dangers of the pier.

“The lighting system was a major step forward for us from a technology perspective, and based on our conversations with Swimsmart, they will be able to integrate the weather station into the app so that we can provide immediate data. said Frankfurt Superintendent Joshua Mills.

Sometimes people may choose to ignore light and flag warnings around state beaches, but emergency crews say any warnings, especially red lights or flag days, should be taken at heart. serious.

“We’ve found over the years that you’re going to have all kinds of signs warning people. We’re going to have people on the front lines warning people and they still feel drawn to the structure,” says Mills. “Especially people out of state, they think Lake Michigan is just a lake, well it’s our ocean, and on the Great Lakes and the weather in Michigan, that can change in a moment.”

Listening to warning signs and following water safety precautions can save the life of you and your family members.

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Susan W. Lloyd