MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.–“The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead.” That line was about Lake Superior, but applies just as easy to the lake that borders Indiana for 45 miles. At least 15 people have drowned in the lake this year, compared to 12 by this time last year, said a report from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
Drownings were up this year for the entirety of the Great Lakes. At least 32 people have drowned as of July 2, compared to 25 people by this time last year.
A man drowned in the Indiana portion of the lake Monday, while another was rescued, just off the beach from Gary.
Rip currents are one of the main factors in many of the drownings. Many people are not prepared for the strong currents or how to react to them. The GLSRP recommends the “flip, float and follow” method, if you get in trouble.
“You flip over on your back and you float. Float to conserve your energy. And then you follow a safe path,” explained a GLSRP safety video. “Swim parallel to shore and then back to shore.”
Floating is recommending as the most immediate action, one that can save you quickest. If you see someone in trouble, try to throw them something they can use to float.
The group also recommends wearing life jackets, especially before attempting a rescue, because many people who try to save someone else become victims themselves.