Three teenage girls were traumatized today at Stearns Park after undertow conditions made swimming dangerous. An onlooker on the breakwall witnessed the incident of two girls beginning to drown, and jumped in to rescue the victims.

Where was the Beach Patrol?

Well, I guess they called 911 and the 2 ambulances, 2 fire trucks, 2 LPD, and 1 MCSO cars arrived some time later to assist and take the victims to Spectrum Health. Close call for them, and no Lifeguards were there as required for our local beach. Bob Alway posted the news at MCP later today. 

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In the COLDNews "A Shiawassee County man was walking on the Ludington North Breakwater Friday afternoon when he saw three girls swimming past the no-swim zone.  The girls, ages 12 to 13 and from Ludington, needed help.  The man threw out a flotation device and then swam out to where two of the three girls were located, while two other men swam to the other girl. There was a 911 call at 3:09 p.m. for more help."

Had there been Ludington lifeguards, other than a beach patrol which rarely actually steps foot on the beach and wasn't involved with noticing and responding to this incident, those girls would have likely been apprised that they were swimming in an unsafe area in the first place.  The incident reminds me a lot of the 2010  drowning of Anthony Goldsmith in roughly the same place and circumstances where a would-be rescuer suffered the worst outcome.  Had there been lifeguards then, he would still be around. 

Why wasn't the beach closed to swimming?

Since the rescue was initiated from someone walking upon the breakwall what is the logic in blocking off access to the breakwall after the incident?

Why didn't they close the beach to swimming instead?

They make no sense. 

You raise the very valid point:  Had the breakwall been closed before this incident, those young swimmers may have drowned; for then they may not have been noticed, the life ring on the breakwall may have not been accessible, and many additional seconds would have passed if somebody broke through the sawhorse blocking them from the life ring. 

Beach patrol members, to my knowledge, do not have the authority to block people from swimming, nor is it in their job description.  In the city code, nobody has the express authority to close Stearn's Park or the beach for swimming.

You may have rough water conditions and plenty of people in the water, but at the same time you may find one member of the beach patrol on lunch, and the other one giving out parking tickets over in the Loomis Street Boat Launch. 

Ludington dodged a bullet when those girls were saved by those brave men with no help from the City of course. I wonder how much money the City earned from all the ticket writing those "beach patrollers" were doing while those swimmers were fighting for their lives. Hello City Council. This was a wake up call.

I don't believe any municipality can ban people from entering the water. The City can close the beach because they own it [land] but the water belongs to all. What they should have are warning flags like many beaches provide that inform  swimmers of the conditions that exist especially during wind and high seas and undertows.

I don't know about the city code, but last I remember, either Shay or Barnett took the authority upon themselves to close the beach and North Breakwater. My thought are: how can either one of them know what's going on at the beach when they are in their cushy offices at city hall? And the danger or good condition flags were the Lifeguards, and probably thrown out and not replaced by now yet. The current situation at the beach now, and has been for several years, a can of worms ready to open, and believe me, most visitors are going to sue the city if their loved ones drown due to incompetence and negligence that exists now. 

One municipality discourages  people from entering the water Willy.

Chicago don't ban you from going in but they can fine you.

$500 fine for swimming in the waters of Chicago Public beaches when a lifeguard isn't present.

And the usual lifeguard season is Memorial Day to Labor Day.

A few observation cameras, some IR goggles and the beach patrol would be more profitable working the night shift than it is looking for fisherman who park outside the lines at Loomis Street launch ramp.

Or calling 911 for assistance while goofin 'round while people are drowning.

Might put a crimp on the Lake Jump though.

Then again you need lifeguards to make it work.

And lifeguards are a no-no in Ludington by the Lake.


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