Red Flag Warnings: DNR Looking at Fines For Those In Water
We've all seen the red flags on Lake Michigan when we are not supposed to be in the water, the DNR will be fining those who get in the water on red flag days.
For those unfamiliar with what a "red flag warning" is, it's a day that when the red flags, signs, and verbal warnings are active, you are to stay out of the water and off of piers for your safety. There is a high probability of drowning on these days.
To show how serious red flag warnings are, from 2010 to 2020, nearly 900 people have died of drowning in the Great Lakes.
According to WOOD, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will be cracking down on those who don't adhere to the red flag warnings on Lake Michigan and will be handing out fines.
For some reason, many beachgoers are disregarding the red flag warnings even verbal warnings, and that is why the DNR is going to be issuing fines.
Lake Michigan is a beautiful lake, its beaches are some of the best in the country but the lake has to be respected as well as the rules that are set in place. This is all for your safety. Most people do not know how to spot a riptide and those are what take the most lives in the lake.
This crackdown is about keeping beech goers alive and not have to send out rescue teams.
Hey, I love playing in the big waves as much as any little kid, but some of these high wave days can be highly dangerous and that is the reason why the DNR is looking at placing fines on those who are in the water during red flag warnings. The DNR is still looking at what the fine will be, so to avoid it, when there's a red flag, stay out of the water and you won't be fined.
When rescuers are getting someone out of the water, sometimes other people on the beach want to continue in the water and this is a huge distraction for rescuers who are working on someone and trying to keep an eye on those who continue not to follow the rules. Again, it's all about safety, not just for those on the beach but the rescuers too.
One problem we have along Lake Michigan is tourists who are not from around here and are unfamiliar with the rules. Plus they are only here for a short time and they are planning on getting in the water no matter what. That can become a problem.
The whole point of this is safety, so when you see the red flag warning, don't go in the water. If you see someone not following the rules who you think are not from around here, perhaps politely explain the warning to them or notify local authorities responsible for patrol that particular beach area.