CHICAGO — The Coast Guard, in advance of predicted high winds and heavy surf during the next two days, is advising the public to exercise caution, heed heavy surf warnings, and avoid the shorelines of Lake Michigan.
People are urged to remain vigilant and stay away from beaches and off of rocks, jetties and piers as high winds out of the north-northeast are expected to create high waves and heavy, dangerous surf conditions. Large waves crashing onto and near these areas can quickly and unexpectedly sweep a person into the cold water, away from shore and out into the Lake. Wind surfers and other surfers are also advised against heading out onto the lake.
“Outdoor enthusiasts and curiosity seekers should stay clear and keep away from the shorelines. Safety is a number one priority,” said Chief Warrant Officer Matthew James, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor. “In addition, mariners are also advised to heed weather warnings. Safe operations in heavy weather requires special equipment, experience and a vessel designed to operate in high seas.”
Hypothermia is the biggest danger after falling into the water, even if one manages to get out immediately. Hypothermia sets in quickly as the human body’s core temperature drops below 95 degrees.
Residents are reminded that even after a weather system moves out of the area and the winds subside, heavy surf and high waves on Lake Michigan will typically take an additional day, at least, to calm.