This has been a deadly decade when it comes to drownings on the Great Lakes. According to statistics by the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, 784 people have died from drowning in the waters of the Great Lakes since 2010.

So far in 2019, there have been 44 drownings, with the majority of them, 22, happening in Lake Michigan. Lake Erie has the second most at 10, and the other three lakes have a combined 12 deaths from drownings.

Although 44 drowning deaths in 2019 is certainly a major concern, this year is not on pace to even come close to the surge in drownings that happened in 2018. Last year, there were 117 and it was the deadliest year on the Great Lakes this decade by a large margin and the only year there was more than 100 drowning deaths.

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project drowning statistics for the 2010s

  • 2010 - 74
  • 2011 - 87
  • 2012 - 99
  • 2013 - 67
  • 2014 - 54
  • 2015 - 55
  • 2016 - 99
  • 2017 - 88
  • 2018 - 117
  • 2019 - 44 (as of July 25th)
  • TOTAL - 784

 

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project drowning statistics for 2019

  • Lake Michigan - 22
  • Lake Erie - 10
  • Lake Huron - 5
  • Lake Ontario - 5
  • Lake Superior - 2
  • TOTAL - 44

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is a nonprofit corporation that aims to save lives through water safety advocacy and drowning survival strategies. Their vision is for everyone in the Great Lakes region, nationwide and worldwide, to be knowledgeable, engaged and proactive in water safety with an emphasis on the Great Lakes region.