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Marquette Police offers Lake Superior safety reminders

Aug 30, 2022 10:56AM ● By Editor
By Jack Hall of • August 29, 2022

Marquette Police are giving some safety advice to people who enjoy jumping off of the rocks and into Lake Superior. Among the tips: knowing the risks of the very cold water that the lake has, as well as rip currents near the rocky areas. Here are the department’s advice:

We all enjoy and have many opportunities to interact with magnificent Lake Superior and all the natural wonder that it has to offer, but we also have to respect the lake’s power. Please do not put yourself or your friends in dangerous water-related situations. Enjoy Lake Superior, but be safe when you do.

Before you jump in, know the risks of cold water.

Warm air doesn’t mean warm water in the Great Lakes. Fifty-five-degree water may not sound freezing but it can be deadly, especially if you aren’t prepared. Cold water drains body heat up to 4 times faster than cold air. When your body hits cold water, “cold shock” can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. The sudden gasp and rapid breathing alone creates a greater risk of drowning even for confident swimmers in calm waters. Because Cold Shock and Hypothermia can impact your ability to think and act, here are a few tips to keep in mind while enjoying Lake Superior.

Safety Tips for Lake Superior:

1. Swim where there are lifeguards. Never swim alone. Before entering the water, make sure someone knows you are doing so.

2. Check the City of Marquette website’s beach flag advisory system before swimming in Lake Superior. Flags are put up at South Beach, McCarty’s Cove, Middle Beach and Picnic Rocks to indicate dangerous to highly dangerous rip current conditions.

3. Rock formations are a likely place to find dangerously strong rip currents. This includes the Picnic Rock area, which is located on Lake Shore Boulevard, near the Lakeview Arena and a short walk from campus. Do not swim in this area. Move down the beach to McCarty’s Cove where lifeguards are located.

4. Strong winds on Lake Superior that create huge waves are amazing to see and photograph, but they, too, can be deadly. Do not go into the water or out onto the breakwall at Presque Isle Park during high winds.

5. The Blackrocks area on Presque Isle Island is a very popular spot to jump into Lake Superior but there are NO Lifeguards on duty and you should never swim alone in that area.

These tips and even more information can be found by going to the US Coast Guard, National Weather Service, or Marquette City Fire Department websites.

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