2020 Has Been A Deadly Year On Lake Michigan
2020 has been a tough year everywhere, but Lake Michigan is having one of it's worst years in recent memory.
So far in 2020 Lake Michigan has recorded 53 fatal drownings, which is the highest total since records were started in 2010. The deaths on the great lakes as a whole are higher than usual, but Lake Michigan is on top of this tragic list according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
Last year, Lake Michigan recorded 48 drowning, and we've already passed that with 2 months left to go. The good news is that the next two months are going to be freezing, so there won't be many people in the water.
The spike in drownings this year is the sum of many factors, but it all comes back to high water levels and strong currents. The pandemic has also been a factor in driving more people to the waterfront. With every other activity canceled due to the pandemic, more and more people are doing small trips to Lake Michigan.
Before researching this information, I would have swore up and down that Lake Superior would lead the death total every year. It's the largest, deepest, and most volatile of all the Great Lakes, so it only make sense right?
Lake Superior is also the least populated, coldest, and also is farther away from any major city so it's hard for people to go for a day trip.
The GLSRP released a chart showing the yearly drowning totals on all of the Great Lakes.
I doubt any of you will be heading to the lakes for a swim anytime soon, but please be careful anytime you are around the Great Lakes. Water levels are very high, and erosion is a real problem on all waterfronts. Piers can also be dangerous if the water is rough on a particular day.