GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Lake Michigan is beautiful, but when the water is rough it can be very dangerous and needs to be respected.
When red flag warnings are posted, we need to pay attention to the chance of rip currents among the dangerous waves.
Rip currents happen when the waves along the lakeshore pile up water between the breaking waves and the beach. The water then returns to the lake in the form of a rip current. The rip current is a strong narrow current that pushes water directly away from shore ripping through the line of those crashing waves.
If caught in a rip current, don’t fight the current. Start to swim parallel to the shore to escape the current. If you can’t escape, begin to float or tread water and then call and wave for help.
Always remember red flag warnings will be posted at beaches and, even if you think you can handle the water, do not risk it! Always stay off the piers and out of the water. All summer we will have your most up-to-date marine forecast here.