LAKE ERIE – The number of drowning incidents this year in the Great Lakes has jumped significantly.
According to data from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, as of last week there were 32 drownings in the Great Lakes, compared to 25 as of this time last year.
The nonprofit group annually tracks drownings in the Great Lakes and recently issued a warning about a summer spike in deaths.
Of the drownings, 15 occurred in Lake Michigan, compared to 12 a year ago. Five drownings were reported in Lake Huron this season, in addition to six in Lake Erie and six in Lake Ontario.
There were 108 drownings on the Great Lakes in 2020, up from the 97 recorded in 2019. There have been a total of 978 Great Lakes drownings since 2010.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project emphasized the “flip, float and follow” drowning survival strategy, which instructs swimmers to prioritize floating and breathing before identifying an exit from the water.
To help prevent drowning, experts recommend making sure someone is designated to watch children at all times while swimming and ensure they wear life jackets. Older children and adults are also encouraged not to swim alone. All water-goers should avoid mixing drugs and alcohol with swimming.
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