Drownings spike in Lake Michigan over past three weeks


It's something we see every summer -- people drowning in the waters of Lake Michigan. This past weekend, a woman's body was found in Porter County.

A lot more people are at the beach this time of year, and that increases the chances for something to go wrong in the water.

It's August, it's hot, and Lake Michigan has warmed up. In fact, the lake sees its warmest water temperatures right now.

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Lake Michigan saw 24 drownings in 2014. Many of them occurred in the late summer months.

This year, Lake Michigan has seen 11 drownings -- 8 of which have occurred since July 11th. Most of them in the Chicago area.

It's very important to understand that drownings can happen to anyone, even to the strongest swimmers.

"The true question is what's your swimming endurance? Because a drowning situation is like a marathon, I know how to run but I know I couldn't run a marathon right now, and if you know how to swim, are you prepared to swim a marathon if you get in a drowning situation? And unfortunately the drowning statistics for the great lakes as well as inland lakes is no," said Dave Benjamin, executive director for the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Simple steps can be taken to prevent a drowning situation. Always go to a guarded beach. Stay away from piers and break walls, where the currents around them are strongest.

When you're boating, always wear a life jacket. The life jacket is worthless if you aren't wearing it.

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