Grassroots Effort to Build Awareness of Lifeguards at Stearns's Park Future


August 3, 2011, LUDINGTON, Mich. - In an effort to build awareness and support of the continued operation of the lifeguards at Ludington's city park beyond the 2010-2011 Budget Cuts, 6 members of the community have joined together to begin a grassroots effort- Save Our Swimmers!


Blog magnate XLFD, Dr. Edie Lindsey, Aquaman, Dave, Max, and Victoria George Cook have come together to spread the message that the Ludington Area needs the lifeguards at Ludington to continue operations beyond 2011 in order to remain a competitive player in the region’s tourism and manufacturing industries.


“There is a real possibility that the lifeguards may have to remain out of operation in 2012, but we are hopeful that the S.O.S. campaign will help demonstrate that our communities need the Stearn's beach lifeguards and influence wealthy cronies and the local government to come to an acceptable solution to continue operations”, XLFD, creator of the Ludington Torch said.


The S.O.S. Task Force has teamed up with Mayor Justin Nickels' poolboy from the City of Manitowoc and other members of the community to take on this issue together, as the Ludington lifeguard operations affect both communities.


“Our lifeguards are an important asset to both of our communities and surrounding regions,” XLFD said. “We look forward to working together with Manitowoc and bringing light to the issue at hand”.


“The lifeguard program really is the anchor of our community; it is the cultural, historical and economic centerpiece of Ludington” Dr. Edie Lindsey, SOS Task Force member and co-owner of a Dell computer said.


“The Save Our Swimmers campaign is focused on informing the public of the issue and gathering the community together to make sure that in the end, the lifeguards remains in service”, Victoria George Cook, co-owner of a fancy automobile added.


Save Our Swimmers is the beneficiary of the online auction of authentic lifeguard and beach artifacts taking place now through August 26th 6pm ET at Items include a life ring, rare photographs, captain’s jackets, swimsuits and many more historic artifacts.


The community is encouraged to get involved and join the S.O.S. Team help SAVE OUR SWIMMERS by visiting the S.O.S. website,


[The above websites are not active, it is a lampoon of a campaign (in honor of The Ludington Diaries).  The text is a slightly modified version of the SOS Badger campaign, a campaign to raise awareness of the upcoming 2012 deadline for that ship.  Whatever will happen with the Badger will be the end result of how those at Lake Michigan Carferry deal with the EPA's (a government agency) dictates. 

Ergo, the government may shut this enterprise down in the same manner the lifeguard program was disabled.  The EPA made their decision by considering the health and safety of citizens; the Ludington City Manager made his decision with the absence of such considerations-- supposed potential liability issues being more important. 

Mayor Henderson is on record saying that re-instituting the lifeguard program was the best thing he had done, and many agree.  He has plugged it after its successes, and before he left it  in the deep water last year, he had only praise for it. 

Now he, and several other city employees devote their time to raising funds for an awareness campaign for a private business, when we had three deaths and no lifeguards last year.  Would lifeguards have saved any of those who drowned?   Anthony Goldsmith, I'm convinced, would have never drowned, and he is the person in the big 'O'  2010 Drowning .  To all those that knew and loved the man, I extend an apology from this Ludington citizen, in that we failed to have lifeguards in place last year and now you have not had his presence for nearly a year.  And now the dangerous season begins.  Take care everyone.]

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Ya know, I find this picture of Mr. Goldsmith  to this satirical post very much lacking in empathy for the gentlemans family. I am sure the OP wasn't thinking that it would be hurtful to them as the OP may not have thought of it that way. But if it was my family member I would really be pissed that  the OP  had attached is photo to such a satirical and crass(in a good way EXCEPT for the pic) posting.


I have nothing wrong with the rest of the post, but I think putting Mr. Goldsmiths photo on it isn't in the best interest of what is being attempted with the post. And appears it is just a bit too cold and thoughtless about his family's feelings for my sensibilities.


When i initially read this I thought that was Shay's pic up there. Shay's or Mayors would be appropriate.

Lando, I respectfully agree to disagree. I don't think this picture of Mr. Goldsmith is intended in any disrespectful or satirical manner at all. What we're talking about here is life and death, needless deaths at our beach, not satire. In fact, if he was a relative of mine, I'd feel proud and honored that strangers in a community he didn't even live in feel he is a poster boy for rightfully changing the conditions that led to his tragic demise a year later. The author is a decent and empathetic type individual that would not do what you suggest, but probably sought to make a point that would strike home, that's the simplicity of it. Shay's picture with Jaws swimming behind him would be a more satirical post imho.

LOL --->"Shay's picture with Jaws swimming behind him would be a more satirical post imho."

Ya that is what I was getting at, a Satirical pic to go w/ a satirical post. I am sure the OP, who is....X, had to double check...was not intending it to be hurtful but to me it just seems the pic doesn't fit the theme of the post, now the jaws thing, THAT would fit perfectly. 


I think if the post was acutally about a real group working to bring back the Lifeguards then the pic would fit well with that type of project and even a compilation pic of those lost over the last few years at Stearns. Sad to see the little girl is not going to do well from the pentwater incident. People think I am overprotective but I just won't let my kid go swimming without me or a specific guardian or two. But no group trips with friends families. lake MI is too Dangerous, and it is sad that those who are not from here and didn't grow up here don't seem to understand that.


Using a private persons pic is just , idk, I prefer the jaws idea :)

Actually, I use Mr. Goldsmith's picture here not to be disrespectful, but to point out and illustrate, unlike our paper or our public officials did, the heroic figure he was last year.  If I did use a local official's mug with a shark behind him, that may have been more satirical, but would have less effect on the people who made the decision that ultimately led to this fine man's death. 

John Henderson, the City Council, and John Shay could have looked at what ultimately led to this man's death last year, could have made a public statement, and put in a program this year with that $40,000 they agreed to put in the budget for beach safety, to lead to thwarting instances like this from happening. 

They didn't-- their focus is only on recovery and ordinance enforcement, not rescue.   Lifeguards provide wide-range rescue, ordinance enforcement, and positive public relations.  Plus they would have only cost about $25,000, without being stolen or vandalized.

Looks like a good poster for "taking a Bite out of Crime".
Niiiiiiiiiiiice! on the poster adaptation and Aq'a comment.
Thanks guys.  One of these days, I'm going to have to learn to Photoshop. 

I agree 100% with Cmdr Brady, why should a life guard have to risk their life to save the life of an idiot. Yes life guards are important but if someone chose's to swim out 50 yd's  in 6' -8' waves I say they are on their own. If they don't care about their personal safety why should another risk their life to try and save them. I feel sorry for their grieving families, but with any luck this will help others to think about the dangers.

“It’s imperative that those who recreate on the Great Lakes exhibit personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sean Brady, commanding officer of Sector Field Office Grand Haven. “Be sure to look for warning flags and signs indicating when you should stay out of the water.”

When a person chooses to be a tourist as their vocation in life, they undergo a process by which their common sense is extracted and their IQ drops appreciably.  Check out all the people who die in Yellowstone Nat'l Park each year.

When you have a lot of these folks in your area, spending precipitous amounts of money, I think a cost-benefit analysis usually will fall on the side of having lifeguards.  Having three lifeguards out there eight hours a day for the roughly 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day will cost you about one-sixth of the salary/benefits of our City Manager for a year.  And provide six or more full time summer jobs for our youths. 

Or we could spend over half the programs cost for beach rangers and close the beach off for most of the late summer.  Personal responsibility is great, but when you're a tourist it is often overlooked. 

I did check out Yellowstone, a suprising number of people get burned every year, and believe it or not people try to shift the blame back on the park.

"Some victims have faulted the Park Service for not erecting barriers and cautioning visitors more sternly about how dangerous thermal areas can be."


Lisa, I'm kinda surprised at your tweak on lifeguards. Like Doctors, whose job it is to save or attempt to save lives, they cannot shirk their sworn duty and obligation to save a life, irregardless of the dumb stunts and health risks people take. Secondly, as Cmndr. Brady stated, people need to take responsibility for themselves too, and watch for signal flags of danger. We no longer have signal flags visually seen across the beach on the lifeguard stations, what we have now, is a DPW barricade with stapled letters stating No Swimming, as you can see by some attached pics.. Note that I took pictures of the beach too, Tuesday the undertoe and rip currents looked rough, Wednesday, the waves were calm, with no undertoe/undercurrents seen, yet CM Shay closed off the pierhead and no swimming was allowed for a second day. It appears Herr Shay did not go see for himself what the waves/beach looked like, but instead relied on NWS information that was not accurate for a beach report. So, tourists went elsewhere and did not crowd the beach as is normal for this time of summer. The related concessions also lost money and were closed, all due to Shay's inexperience and fumbling of the decision he knows nothing about, and shouldn't have been in charge to make a decision about to begin with.


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