The People Sound Off About the Recent Drowning in Ludington

The following comments were left by concerned citizens, tourists, and other interested parties about the recent drowning at Stearn's Park on 8-15-2010 at the Ludington Daily News story about that incident.  Not all comments are included (some of which sound as if they were made by city government operatives or apologists--  not a big surprise on the LDN).  Many made some very good points.  Hopefully, the more often these points are broadcast, the more likely the people who care about this city will speak up.  After all, with the small amount of money they saved to drop the program, how much revenue have they actually cost the city in the long run after all these near misses, beach closings, and very sadly, this death? 



Bob Olsen on August 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM
Do you mean to tell us that Ludington, no longer has lifeguards on its large public beach? I suppose we should not be surprised. This is the same city that has let men, women and babies burn to death because it felt that inspecting rental property for the presence of operating smoke detectors placed too heavy a financial burden on its landlords. I respectfully request this of the Ludington City Council members who voted to eliminate the lifeguard program. When you attend your place of worship this week, please consider how you will explain to your maker your choice of saving $20,000, rather than possibly preventing this and the other deaths that will surely occur in the future. The same might well apply to those citizens who elected these council members to represent them. This tragedy again confirms the wisdom of my choice to no longer live in Ludington. My family and I took our future property taxes and our businesses and left the area decades ago. Sadly, I can now no longer in good conscience even recommend to friends that they vacation in Ludington. Human life seems to have too little value there.


Philip on August 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM
There were three people saved about this same time last year by the lifeguards in similarly turbulant conditions. One of those saved was a man that went out in an attempt to aid the the other two and nearly drowned himself! This incident clearly reinforced the need for lifeguards on the beach. Ironically, the city officials decided to eliminate lifeguards on the beach the very next year in an apparent budget cutting measure. Was the money saved worth the loss of a life? There are no guarantees that the lifeguards will be able to save everyone, but their presence GREATLY improves the odds! We should not only re-establish lifeguards on the beach, they should also be provided with a waverunner to make their job safer in heavy seas rescues!


Douglas on August 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM
Just so the people canknow the truth about what has happened. Tony Drowned yesterday while trying to help 2 other people out of the water, While pushing the people out of the water he got sucked into the undertow himself. Did he belong in the water, Probably not but then again Tony did save the other 2 women that were there, And to do it again he would even at risk to his own life, That is just the way Tony was. Beleive me the WORLD is not gonning to be better off without him near.


gary on August 17, 2010 at 10:21 PM
just a note from a recent tourist to ludington about this tragic event and some personal reflection. my daughter and i went to stearns beach late on sunday abt 4:30P to swim for a while and my 18 yr old daughter rushed to the shore and into the water and got about 10 -15 ft into the lake when folks on the shore told her about the drowning and to get out of the lake immediately. she did of course , but there were NO SIGNS OF Beach CLOSURE OR DANGER, NO FLAG COLORS AS WE HAVE SEEN AT ALMOST ALL Lake Michigan beaches on our vacations. Green, Red ,etc to advise of dangers. My daughter could easily have been another victim that same day. I had no idea that Ludington had cancelled it's lifeguards to save $20,000 - was it worth it in view of this accident and now i see further in the Daily News that within the last 30 days 4 other folks were swept off the breakwater pier rockwall.Safety is not negotiable and cannot be pushed under the rug. I have been coming to Ludington for about 30 years and not a year goes by that someone isn't tossed off the breakwater or swept out to sea with the conditions we had on Sunday at Sterns. You need to restore lifeguards, that's my opinion.


Aaron on August 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM
How tragic. Prayers go out for the man and his family. It is sad that the Ludington city government feels saving lives isn't worth $20,000. The writing was on the wall, and they knew this was going to happen sometime. These people are NOT looking out for the best interests of our community.


Chris on August 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM
4 were swept out last week, then this one a week later. Should we have lifeguards now?


Toni on August 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM
This is really sad. I was at the beach today and did not see any warnings regarding dangerous conditions. Whatever happened to the flags that were previously posted on the main lifeguard tower? The city of Ludington, operating this beach, needs to provide warning conditions/info regarding swimming conditions. Bring back the lifeguards.


xlfd on August 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM
With the two other near-miss incidents within this last month and now this, that $20,000 the city saved by abandoning the lifeguard program sure looks smaller and smaller.


Teresa on August 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM
For a community that relies on tourism so much, not having lifeguards at one of our biggest attractions makes a strong statement that the city doesn't care about tourists safety very much. Hopefully they find the person safe on shore.


Robert on August 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM
Prayers to the man and his family. But, sorry to say that the city has money for nice new signs for the parking lots, etc., but not for the life guards. Very, very sad situation.


geriann on August 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM
if it were a family member of our city officials that this happened to they would work harder to have lifeguards. lifeguards would have given this man a chance at can you put a price on saving a life.


Caroline on August 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM
How many more lives City of Ludington? How many tourists do you want to lose? How much more man power are you willing to pay for? How many tax dollars out of our pockets? $27,000.00 does not seem like much now, does it? Praying for all the families involved with this tragic accident. Semper Paratus.


Nancy on August 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM
On tv at noon they showed the lakeshore communities that had red flag warnings flying. Ludington was one of them. RIIIIIIGHT! How long has it been since the Ludington beach flew ANY flags? The powers-that-be should put up huge signs all along the beach saying "Swim at your own risk because we won't fund life guards". That would increase our tourism...


Gayle on August 16, 2010 at 11:11 PM
I lost my cousin last night at Sterns Park, it was just confirmed..Maybe they need to rethink the life guard issue, or maybe people should just stop going to the park. Is the park worth the life of a loved one?


JAN on August 16, 2010 at 11:11 PM
I agree with the above comments. Ludington has had one of the top ten best beaches for years, and I've heard so many great comments on our wonderful beach from resorters. Don't you think we should also be known for our safe beach? Get those lifeguards back to work! Doesn't it make more sense to spend $20,000, or whatever the pay is, for a lifeguard for our safety, than millions for hiring all the police, fire, coastguard, and divers to search for a body?Please Ludington, keep our wonderful beach safe!


George on August 16, 2010 at 11:12 PM
My prayers are with the family. But come on people when are you gonna put up signs warning people who are clueless on what to do when there in the undertow situation and bring back the life guards. These undertow's here are very serious. Out of town people have no clue that they even exist or what to do to get out of the situation. This really sadens me. PLEASE POST BIG WARNING SING'.


Tuff on August 17, 2010 at 10:19 PM
Ludington is a great town with lots of good attractions , the beach being the number one attraction. The city should have Top notch lifeguards on duty, with wave runners, Radios, and all the latest equipment, The beach should remain Free as it is today, the Tourism dollars should Pay for a top notch life guard rescue system. Come on City planners the sooner the better , Be the best you can be , set the standard right here in Ludington. Lets get it done


Tuff on August 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM
Cant afford life gaurds ??? Better re-evaluate Imagine how much this cost with all the equipment, boats , helicopters and people involved Agencies involved in the incident include the Ludington Police Department, Ludington Fire Department, Hamlin Township Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard and their helicopter, Life EMS, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Oceana County Sheriff’s Offi ce and the Mason County Sheriff’s Offi ce Victims Assis


Diandra on August 17, 2010 at 10:22 PM
I do feel this could have been possibly avoided with lifeguards. When they used to be there, they had no problem running across the beach to scream for people to get outta the water.


janet on August 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM
It is a sad, tragic event. But I have lived in Ludington for 6 decades. Lifeguards do warn people and are to keep a constant vigil during thier duty time. They do help! The city can pay for police to patrol the beach everyday and for what purpose? All I see them doing is talking to people. Instead of paying a policeman to stay solely at the beach pay the lifeguards to be at the beach. Have patrol cars go through the beach to monitor not just to sit there for hours upon hours.. Ludington management wake up! This is a tourist town on Lake Michigan. Closing the beach is your best intervention? Ridiculous!!!!


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Replies to This Discussion

Will these people that took the time to respond to a Daily News article be unheard by the ears of Ludington City Council members?  We will know after tonight.
Maybe someone needs to go down there, hopefully many people, and re-read these comments to the Mayor and CM for clarification and substantial re-thinking of their inept way of protecting the beach in 2010! Otherwise, expect the SAME DEAF EARS to again go into the dark ages, with new 22KT Gold signage, and a few life rings here and there. It's not rocket science to know our beach is a trump card in attracting tourists for many decades, and the Lifeguard Program reinforced confidence and true safety measures to avoid drownings for many years. Rescuers save lives, not ring buoys and signs! We have the equipment, people, and money to do it the right way, why go half-way at double the cost? Ridiculous indeed!!!!! The saddest part will be the new deaths that will come with this 2011 season and every one thereafter until the correct path is followed. Basically, it's on Henderson and Shay's heads, they are the leaders that can influence the entire council into reinstating the Lifeguards, no one else really seems to care anymore.
I was scanning this group the other night.  I have never actually been to Stearn's beach swimming during the lifeguards and would be inclined to not see any use for them.  But I was sucked in by the reasoning of Aquaman and XLFD plus these fine people who responded to a Daily News article into being for them.  The obvious costs of the program are probably overwhelmed by the overall benefits to Ludington's tourism and image. 
Thanks for your support Marty, well worth the read here to see the whole story behind our ROLLS efforts of recent.
Welcome to the table, Marty; if you have any Illini friends with any pull (like a political rip tide) locally, let them in on why the lifeguard program is good and have them pass that on to City Hall.  Or sign any petitions we might have to create.


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