Coast Guard Warns: Great Lakes Water Temps Are Still Chilly
While temps will sky rocket into the mid 90s this weekend, the Coast Guard wants you to know, the big lakes are still cold, and that can mean dangerous.
The Traverse City Coast Guard Air Station posted a somber and yet poignant warning earlier this month -- when venturing out on the Great Lakes, dress for the water, not the air, and wear a life jacket.
The quote on their post is from a woman, Rachel North, whose brother lost his life on Lake Michigan recently. They linked to this story about cold water safety, a stark reminder that the Great Lakes are beautiful for recreation, but they're unrelenting if you don't respect them.
Lake Michigan water temperatures off Holland and Grand Haven remain hovering at around 60 degrees. The Coast Guard notes that anything below 77 degrees is considered dangerous if exposed to the water for a long period of time.
While temps will climb into the mid 90s by Friday, and the water will feel refreshing, swimming is still risky business on the Big Lake. Keep in mind when diving in, the sudden blast of cold water could cause a gasping reflex, and you could take in water unexpectedly.
Also, stay close to the shore if you're at the beach, when you swim out too far, you may start to feel the early effects of hypothermia, keeping you from making it all the back in.
The Coast Guard also suggests that if heading out on a kayak or small craft, leave a float plan with friends so they can find you if you're delayed in returning. It's also a good idea to carry a personal locator when possible.