There have been more than 70 drowning deaths across the Great Lakes this year; cold-water temperatures, rip currents, and boating without a lifejacket are direct contributing factors to those deaths.
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three- fourths (76%) of recreational boating fatalities in 2017, and that 84.5 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. A life jacket must be worn, fit well, and be Coast Guard approved for it to work. Boaters should consider bright colors or reflective tape to assist search and rescue efforts in case of an emergency.
Furthermore, water levels remain at a record high across the Great Lakes, which can cause rip currents and submerge structures that are normally visible. Boaters and swimmers are being urged to be extra vigilant while out on the water heading into this Labour Day Weekend.