Lake Michigan is often considered the deadliest lake in the US. This lake has been responsible for multiple yearly drownings. Just in 2015, the lake claimed more than 55 lives. This makes it the most dangerous in the Great Lakes area as well as the most dangerous in the country.
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Wind makes Lake Michigan dangerous
The wind blows from the East on Lake Michigan. This makes it a dangerous lake due to its longitudinal aspect. But wind blowing at high speeds with its storms isn’t new to the area. If you talk to the locals, you will hear a lot about certain boat accidents mainly caused by wind.
High water level makes it even more dangerous
High water levels made the lake dangerous over the past few years. In fact, its water levels are rising. In certain areas, Lake Michigan water levels are as high as a 70-story building. This is why you need to be careful when swimming here.
Ideally, you need to look around the area you plan to swim in. High waves can be dangerous here. During the summer when everybody is out swimming, you should only approach the lake from safe areas.
Drownings in Lake Michigan
Unfortunately, both high winds and high water levels contribute to the high drownings in the lake. In 2015, there were 55 drownings in the lake. One year later, 99 people drowned here. In 2017, 88 people drowned in Lake Michigan. Our latest figures are even sadder. Over 100 people drowned here in 2018.
Water currents are the final danger you can face on this lake. Rip currents tend to take you out in open waters. Structural currents can take you right underneath decks. Channel currents can swipe you away towards high land areas.
All of these water currents are present throughout the year on Lake Michigan. If you think the area you plan to swim in isn’t safe, you can try using a certain object such as a plastic bottle to check for possible currents. But most importantly, you should never swim out on your own on the large lake.
We know that beach waves at Lake Michigan can reach up to 6 feet. These are strong waves and even walking on the beach when the weather isn’t great is not an inspired idea.
Most importantly, this lake faces the highest waves and currents. It is considerably more dangerous than Lake Erie, Lake Superior, and Lake Houston. Statistics show Lake Michigan is more dangerous than all of those lakes combined. But at the same time, it also attracts the most tourists. This is why it’s crucial to get the latest information from lake authorities before you plan to camp, fish, or swim in the lake.
The Great Lakes Surf Project keeps an eye on all of the fatalities and dangers on this water mass. You can contact the association to learn more about how you and your family can stay safe when visiting.