Local Emergency First Responders Offer Some Safety Tips While At The Beach
The U.S. Coast Guard and Duluth Fire Department want to remind everyone to always play it safe when out at the beach. Even if you are an adult who considers yourself a strong swimmer conditions swimming in a river or lake can change quickly, especially in a body of water like Lake Superior.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Taylor Barnes spoke with WDIO " Before you head out to the beach you need to check the weather conditions because the wave state and sea state on the lake can get pretty rough. If it's anywhere above the height that you are, you don't want to be swimming."
The Duluth Fire Department has recently added new signage at beach access points explaining Beach Flag warnings Red; High Hazard Warning-High Surf and or Strong Rip currents. Do not enter the water. Yellow: Medium surf or rip currents, use extreme caution if in the water and Green: Calm Conditions, exercise caution. If flags are not displayed it does not mean waters are safe.
Also check with parkpointbeach.org before you head to the beach, this website has daily updates on weather, rip current conditions, water temperature, and more. Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie said to WDIO "You should always know where you're at on the beach, first of all. Secondly, where the rescue stations are located so if you have to access throw rings to help someone else that you're able to do that."
"A lot of people mistake drowning victims as somebody who's flapping in the water waving their arms. A lot of drowning victims are about eye level in the water and just trying to stay afloat as much as possible so they're not moving. Said Petty Officer 2nd Class Taylor Barnes said to WDIO.
With no life guards on duty right now it is extremely important to make sure that everyone you are with at the beach keep an eye on each other, and don't ever go swimming alone. Conditions can change so quickly from drop offs to rip currents, being someone who generally swims in Lake Superior every Summer I have a deep respect for how powerful the lake is, always use caution. If swimming in Lake Superior I would recommend that kids are wearing life jackets no matter how strong a swimmer they may be. Have a fun Summer and stay safe.