Open forum to discuss future of New Buffalo lifeguards to be held Thursday

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. – An open forum will be held at New Buffalo’s City Hall to discuss suggested liability issues surrounding the employment of beach lifeguards.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project will also be in attendance to oppose the city.

In a press release, it is reported that New Buffalo’s city manager David Richards told the Detroit Free Press that eliminating lifeguards and posting “swim at your own risk” signage comes from the “suggestions” of the city’s insurer for liability reasons. 

GLSRP plans to argue their stance in support of lifeguard presence at the forum.

“The flag system is just one tool that on-duty lifeguards can utilize to communicate with the public about the current beach conditions. But these flags must be monitored and updated in real time. Many beaches that utilize the flag system without lifeguards have poor real time updating abilities, which cause confusion with beach patrons,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP.

Scroll over chart to view statistics

In 2017, Lake Michigan was named the deadliest of all five Great Lakes, with 291 drownings since 2010 according to GLSRP. 

“We are hopeful that city officials will realize the importance of lifeguards, the first responders on the beach,” said Bob Pratt, GLSRP Executive Director of Education.

You can attend the meeting Thursday at 10 a.m. at the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The address is 224 West Buffalo St in New Buffalo.

The GLSRP also released a public service announcement about the factors of drowning. 

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