Avoid piers, breakwalls during upcoming windy weekend

Large waves crash along the breakwall at Diversey Harbor in Chicago after a winter storm brought gale force winds and waves as high as 10 feet to the area Feb. 25, 2016. The Coast Guard frequently responds to cases involving people swept off walls or piers due to rough seas, and encourages storm watchers to keep at a safe distance from these dangerous areas during periods of heavy weather. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Justin Zita)

Large waves crash along the breakwall at Diversey Harbor in Chicago after a winter storm brought gale force winds and waves as high as 10 feet to the area Feb. 25, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Justin Zita)

MILWAUKEE — After an abnormally high number of foul-weather related deaths on Lake Michigan this year, the Coast Guard urges everyone participating in waterfront activities along the lake this weekend to use extreme caution.

The National Weather Service is forecasting hazardous weather for all of Lake Michigan over the weekend.

North to northwest winds are expected to gust to more than 40 knots across the lake, and waves will be building to more than 10 feet. This will increase the likelihood of dangerous waves and strong currents, especially along structures, piers and near river outlets.

While docks, breakwalls, piers and rocks are seemingly ideal places to take pictures or video of storms, Coast Guard units on Lake Michigan have responded to numerous cases involving people swept off of a wall or pier by rough seas this year.

Those willing to brave the weather are encouraged to stay a safe distance from the water, especially in areas near breaking waves.

“While the large waves are always impressive to watch, the safety of the public remains our number one priority,” stated Coast Guard Cmdr. Leanne Lusk, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan.

 

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