Swimming

Looking underneath a bridge at sunrise, a group of boats in the water surround several swimmers attached to orange buoys.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

More than 300 people braved the Straits of Mackinac Sunday for the 13th annual Mighty Mac Swim.

The Friends of the Boyne River

Boyne City plans to make it illegal to jump into the river from a stretch of boardwalk and other locations.

Mayor Tom Neidhamer says police noticed large roots and other dangerous material near an area where local kids like to jump 20-30 feet into the water.

"We don't to stop people from having fun," he says. "That's what living in Northern Michigan is all about. But there's a safety issue."

He says swimming and floating on the river will still be allowed.

City commissioners expect to vote on the ordinance at the next meeting on July 9.

Grand Traverse County Easling Pool

Easling Pool in Traverse City is set to reopen on Wednesday. Grand Traverse County’s only public pool is under the new management of Grand Traverse Bay YMCA.

“We’re trying to partner with the county to try to save an entity that has been in this community for years," says Jay Buckmaster, CEO of the YMCA. "So we will do what we do, which is run great programming and run great pools, and I guess it’s going to be to the community to see if there’s enough need to be able to sustain it long-term."

Grand Traverse County wants the YMCA to run its troubled swimming pool. County commissioners voted Wednesday night to turn management of the Easling Pool over to the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA. The pool has been closed since October due to lack of funding.

The county would pay the YMCA $50,000 in management fees during a one-year trial.

Most commissioners support the plan but County Administrator Tom Menzel said it’s a bad idea.

Border Collies Enlisted To Clean Beaches

May 21, 2014

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now, in our continuing effort to keep you in touch with all the world, we now have an update on seagulls.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As summer water temperatures warm-up, more people are enticed into playing in the big waves. And warnings about dangerous currents are being posted at more beaches.

The number of people who have drowned in the Great Lakes or been rescued has gone up in each of the last three years. And researchers are testing ways to better forecast dangerous nearshore currents.

Nearly Drowned

Great Lakes Drownings Top 100 in 2012

Jan 7, 2013

More than 100 people drown in the Great Lakes last year and half of them were in Lake Michigan. That’s according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Spokesman Dave Benjamin says one explanation for so many deaths in Lake Michigan is the lake is so long, 320 miles. Most of the wind comes out of the north or the south.

New research this fall will try to find a better way to predict dangerous currents in the Great Lakes. The number of deaths attributed to rip currents has been rising each of the last few summers.

Using Doppler
The experiment will see if Doppler radar can predict rip currents. That’s the same technology that can look at how the air moves inside fast developing storms.

It was a deadly weekend on the Great Lakes. Seven people drowned, including three in Lake Michigan.

Kevin Schlake, 40, of Cincinnati, died Sunday after swimming at Peterson Beach, toward the southern end of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Schlake was caught in a rip current. The family says he was trying to rescue a 12-year-old nephew. Schlake’s brother-in-law was able to make it to shore after a struggle in strong surf.

Also this weekend, a Chicago doctor drowned at St. Joseph beach while trying to rescue two children.

There were 87 people who died by drowning last year in Great Lakes waters, according to numbers reported by the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

A significant number of swimmers were caught in rip currents. Project CEO Bob Pratt says safety experts are still learning about rip-current survival, but there's some evidence to suggest the best thing for a swimmer to do if caught in a rip current is to stop swimming.

Lawsuit Expected Next Week in TC Marina Drowning

Sep 9, 2011

Lawyers plan to file a lawsuit against the city of Traverse City on behalf of a teen who died while swimming in a public marina last month.  The family of Michael Knudsen will sue the city of Traverse City for the teen's death at Clinch Park Marina last month. Knudsen died after he dove off of a dock and was shocked by a short in an underwater electrical line.  Lawyer Dean Robb, who is representing the family, said the suit will likely be filed next week. 

Preliminary autopsy results confirm suspicions that a Mancelona teen who drowned in Traverse City's Clinch Marina this week did suffer an electric shock while in the water.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Scott Knudsen died by shock and drowning, according to a release today from city officials.

Knudsen was swimming with a friend off "Dock F" Monday. His friend also reported being shocked, but he managed to make it back to the surface. Power has not been restored to the dock, and that section remains closed.

An 18-year-old man from Mancelona has died after swimming near Traverse City's Clinch Park Marina.

Police say Michael Knudson was swimming with a friend near the F dock of the marina when he appeared to be shocked and then disappeared. His friend says he also felt an electric shock but was able to make it back to the dock.

Police are investigating what might have happened to cause the drowning.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.