Lake Michigan rip currents pose major danger in summer

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lake Michigan's waves and cool waters are inviting on hot summer days, but swimmers need to be mindful of the dangers of rip currents.

Waves powered by northerly winds are particularly dangerous, and beachgoers should take note of warnings, including signs and colored flags, alerting swimmers to possibly dangerous conditions. That includes rip currents that can quickly take a swimmer away from the shore.

"As a father, you have got to think of anything, of the impossible, and just keep eyeing your children," said Chicagoan Guillermo Zamudio. "Don't wander off, you have got to recognize these signs, be closer, be safe."

But Zamudio's 10 and 7 year old children, who love the water, cannot swim.

After a 28-year-old Portage, Ind., man drowned Sunday in Michigan City while helping his struggling girlfriend to safety in choppy condition, safety advocates are reminding swimmers that escaping rip currents requires presence of mind. Don't fight them, and exit when they ease by swimming parallel to shore.
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