There is a danger in the waters of Michigan that doesn't get nearly the amount of press as a Hurricane, Tornado or even lightening.

It's not just that rip current rescues or deaths are not reported enough in the media.  They are also under-reported to the authorities.  According to,

This year's rip current toll more than doubles the three tornado deaths that have been documented so far this year in the U.S. It's also four times the number of lightning-related deaths, which stands at two through the first week of May.

Rip currents have killed more people annually than tornadoes from 2014-2017, so this year is not an outlier. Three of the last four years have also had more rip current fatalities than lightning and tornadoes combined.

Florida and California clearly lead the way in rip current deaths in the U.S.  However, the danger in the Great Lakes must be taken seriously.

Here are a few safety tips from if you get caught up in a rip current

  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Never fight against the current.
  • Think of it as a treadmill that can't be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline.
  • If you are unable to swim out of a rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.


BONUS VIDEO: Two Eagles and a Swan on the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, Michigan



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