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      New system installed to track rip currents

      After weeks of dry land testing, Marquette City Police divers installed a new current meter at Picnic Rocks Monday morning.

      The $26,000 meter is an acoustic Doppler system that uses sound waves to detect current speed and water temperature.

      The unit was lowered into about 20 feet of water right off the first Picnic Rock, where the current is strongest. A cable was then run to a processing box on that first rock, which radios information back to police every 15 minutes.

      If the system is successful, officials say more may be implemented in the Great Lakes.

      "It's the first unit of its kind on the Great Lakes, and everybody is kind of interested to see how this will work. If it works very well, it's very possible that the Great Lakes Observing System may add a few more at other strategic locations," said Dave Guenther, Meteorologist.

      Police will share that information with the community on their website.

      The National Weather Service will also monitor the data to create a warning system for beachgoers.