Coast Guard urging people to remain away from Lake Michigan shoreline

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCHICAGO — The Coast Guard is reminding residents to exercise caution and remain away from the shoreline of Lake Michigan for the next several days as remnants of Hurricane Sandy create high winds, dangerous surf conditions and rip currents throughout the Great Lakes.

Residents and curiosity seekers are urged to stay off of rocky terrain, beaches, piers and jetties, which all may appear safe; however, waves and winds are strong and extremely unpredictable and can cause onlookers to slip and get washed or pulled into the surf.

After a short period of time in water, hypothermia can quickly set in resulting in physical and mental impairment and ultimately drowning.

The Coast Guard is also warning water enthusiasts such as surfers and wind surfers to remain off of the water and out of the dangerous surf conditions. Current weather conditions could prohibit Coast Guard crews and assets from assisting individuals in distress.

“We urge everyone to use extreme caution due to unsafe forecasted lake conditions,” said Cmdr. Erik Leuenberger, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan search-and-rescue mission controller. “Our first priority is to keep people out of dangerous situations.”

In addition, residents who reside near the shores of Lake Michigan should, if they haven’t already, secure personal property and other items that are susceptible to blowing into the surf. If items are blown into the water, do not try to retrieve them.

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