Lake Michigan drownings up 80 percent this year, water safety group says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A water safety advocacy organization reported Sunday that drownings in Lake Michigan are up 80% over the same period of time last year.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project said on this date in 2018, there were 15 Lake Michigan drownings.

In 2019, as of Sunday morning, the organization said it is tracking 51 drownings in the Great Lakes; 27 of those drowning happened in Lake Michigan.

On Saturday, the body of a 35-year-old Michigan man was pulled from Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Indiana.

Courtesy: Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office said a man drowned Saturday afternoon in Lake Michigan in Holland, Michigan. Deputies responded to a call around 4:30 p.m. in the 3300 block of Lakeshore Drive after bystanders spotted the man struggling, then go face down after flagging for help.

According to the National Weather Service, the lake conditions involved 3-5 foot waves and 20-30 mph winds out of the southwest, creating waves and dangerous currents.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project said there have also been two SCUBA deaths in Lake Michigan.

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There have been 11 drowning deaths and one person reported this year in Lake Erie, six drowning deaths in Lake Ontario along with one SeaDoo death, five drowning deaths in Lake Huron, and two drowning deaths in Lake Superior, the organization said.

There have been 791 drownings total in the Great Lakes since 2010, the organization said.
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