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Warm summer brings record number of Lake Michigan drownings | News

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Warm summer brings record number of Lake Michigan drownings
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM)- The state park in Holland has not suffered a drowning yet this summer, but the Ottawa County Sheriff's Marine Division Chief fears that could change before summer ends.

"I'm very concerned," Sgt. Keith Koeman said Friday.

Warm, sunny days have brought Lake Michigan water temperatures to above 70 degrees for over a month.  Combine that with a large number of no-swim "red flag" days, and the result has been a record number of drowning deaths in the big lake.

21 of the 65 deaths have been attributed to rip currents that can exhaust even strong swimmers.  Many beaches have posted information on dealing with rip currents.  Sgt. Koeman says swimmers caught in a rip current should let it carry them out and swim parallel to the shore until they escape.

The website Respect the Power is a good source of information.

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