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Lake Michigan drownings up 80 percent over last year

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, drownings in Lake Michigan have increased 80 percent over last year. 


Lake Michigan had 15 drownings during this time last year and today, there are 27 confirmed drownings. 

Co-founder of the organization, Dave Benjamin said this year, there have been 51 drownings in the Great Lakes. 


Benjamin said currently, Lake Michigan, 27, and Lake Erie, 11, lead the number of drownings in the Great Lakes. He said the numbers fluctuate each year, making it hard to find trends on when and why drownings occur. 


“If we look at Lake Michigan, there’s a high population density of people living nearby with access to the water, it’s also a tourism destination,” Benjamin said.

In a recent Lake Michigan drowning, the National Weather Service said there were 20 to 30 mile per hour winds and 3 to 5 foot waves.


The National Weather Service said recent high water levels have not impacted the number of drownings. 


Tess DeGayner is a student reporter for WCMU News. She is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Journalism and Broadcasting. Her hometown is Fenton, Michigan.