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An area lifeguard takes to Facebook to strongly warn of dangerous swimming

Monday was a very dangerous day for swimming in Lake Michigan. A Beach Hazards Statement was in effect from Chicago to Michigan City to South Haven and Grand Haven.

The result of the National Weather Service alert was red flags at numerous popular beaches. That included Silver Beach, New Buffalo Public Beach and Washington Park Beach, among others.

When red flags are flying, people are supposed to stay out of the lake whether or not lifeguards are present at the time. Not everyone heeds the red flags and other signage, though. So one lifeguard took to the Washington Park Lifeguards Facebook page to send a message to anyone heading to the beach on Monday.

The post was shared over 1,800 times as of 8 p.m. Monday, and is shown above.

"Out of personal (6 year) experience of being a lifeguard in Washington Park, today's rip currents and chaotic nature of the water is the worst I've experienced." 

Will this type of action keep everyone out of the water even on dangerous swimming days? That remains to be seen, but it was a tactic that other social media pages are testing out as well.

Holland State Park, for example, takes to Facebook to post about swimming conditions and what color flag is flying. Over the weekend, the page made a post saying that a red flag was flying, and all access to the pier was entirely restricted. 

The pier at Washington Park Beach in Michigan City Monday evening as large waves crash over the top. NOAA/GLERL
There have been 21 drownings on Lake Michigan in 2019. More than 40 have occurred on the Great Lakes as a whole. In all of 2018, there were 43 drownings on Lake Michigan and 117 among all of the Great Lakes, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

Looking ahead, the risk of dangerous waves and currents is LOW for the next five days. 

However, rip currents and other types of currents can develop without strong winds or large waves. 

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