Chesterton Tribune

Don't blame the park service for rip current danger; wear life vests

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Voice of the People


When the winds blow from the north we get high waves that cause dangerous rip currents. We have seen what happens when you get caught in a rip current several times this summer that ended up in disaster. The last one was in Ogden Dunes where the end result was almost disaster. The main reason it had a better ending than the previous ones was a simple life vest.

I have seen many comments about the National Lakeshore not doing enough to protect us from the dangers of the lake. I for one have heard and read the comments and thought how wrong they are. We should not need to be protected from every danger that looms around the corner when common sense should be adequate.

A real big problem I have had with placing blame on the National Lakeshore is the victims all were at a beach and told not to swim because it is was too dangerous to do so. The people made the decision to do it anyway at a beach that was unprotected and adjacent to the one they were warned not to swim at.

I am sure all of the people involved had to have seen the previous incidents broadcast on the news and reported in the papers. That didnít matter because we do what we want to do most of the time and always think it wonít happen to me.

We donít need more park rangers on the beaches. We donít need bigger signs at the beaches. We need to make people use their heads more for something other than a place to put your hat or hang your sunglasses. If the winds are from the north there will be large waves at the beach. You can bet there will be rip currents that can kill you.

Bring life vests to the beach as a regular summer fun piece of equipment. Bring more than one with your group. It does not matter if you are young or old it is a good idea to wear a life vest if the waves are high. If you are caught in a rip current you will still be pulled out from shore. You will stay on top of the water and wonít drown. If you know anyone that is heading to the beach not familiar with our shores and the rip currents tell them to take life vests with them, and use them. Department stores have them and can be bought for less than $30. A lot less than a life or the cost of a funeral.

Having your kids wear a life vest can save their life. Having one for yourself in case you need to help them back to shore can save both of your lives. Something so simple that can determine the outcome of disaster, or just close call. In my opinion it is as dumb to go to the beach without a few life vests as it would be to head out in the lake on a boat without life vests.

Michael Adams.


Posted 9/4/2008