After six deaths and three rescues in Marquette and Alger counties in 2010 as a result of rip currents, the National Weather Service continues to put an emphasis on beach safety. They stated last year, there were no deaths, and they are hoping it stays that way.
Monday was a red flag day, meaning swimming conditions were dangerous. It's just one piece of information you should know before you leave the shore.
You can access swimming conditions on your city's website or the National Weather Service.
"It talks about what the height of the waves are going to be at the beaches in Marquette and Alger county; talks about what the risk will be for swimming at those beaches," said Matt Zika, National Weather Service Meteorologist.
On windy days, you will see a greater frequency of higher waves and rough conditions that can be unsafe.Those conditions can also enhance the chance of a rip current.
"Waves start to get in the two to four foot high range with the period in between the waves on the Great Lakes being so short, and they come so quickly, successive. That's when we start to see an increase number of potential of people having to be rescued," Zika explained.
Officials recommend you visit a lifeguarded beach and look at the flags.
"Green flags are two foot waves and under. Yellow flag would be waves that are between two and four feet. Anything that's over four feet is a red flag. If it's a red flag, we certainly don't want people in the water," said Karl Zueger, Marquette City Community services director.
The city of Marquette has also equipped their beaches with safety gear. You will find life safety stations with different types of flotation devices. You can use a life jacket for you, your child, or in the event of an emergency.
A couple more safety tips: stay hydrated during hot days to avoid heat exhaustion and stay off the beach when it's lightning.
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