According to recent data from a water safety organization, the State of Michigan had 18 drownings in 2011. None of those occurred in Marquette.
Officials of the Marquette Waterfront Safety Task Force say the city had four people drown two years ago. A total of six people drowned in Lake Superior in 2010. But with last year's efforts to make the beaches safer, no one lost their life off Marquette, and planning for the upcoming summer season has already begun.
"We are currently in the process of looking at a head lifeguard hiring right now and very soon, probably in the next six weeks, we'll be looking at the lifeguard staff, park patrol staff and, again, the infrastructure later in May once the frost is gone and this year-round campaign to keep the awareness level high," said Marquette Fire Chief Tom Belt. The task force will be in full operation starting in May.