Now that it is May, summer is just around the corner. This means more people here in the Twin Tiers want to go outside and travel to the Finger Lakes, or maybe even the beach on one of the Great Lakes. If you plan on taking a trip to one of the beaches along the Great Lakes, always stay aware of the weather to know if there are any statements issued.

Weather statements regarding drowning hazards are common at the Great Lakes. Always be aware of how strong and active the water can be. In some cases, longshore currents can occur parallel to the shore. These currents can exert a lot of force and take somebody down along the beach, eventually hitting piers or rocks. To get out of these currents, swim directly back to the beach.

Another type of current that commonly forms near the beach is a rip current. These currents can form in gaps in sandbars, where water can surge offshore through the gap after it washes up on the beach from a wave. If you are caught in a rip current, float with the current in a horizontal swimming position to conserve energy until the current slows. Then, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. When out of the current, swim back to shore.

Other types of drowning hazards can be found on the National Weather Service’s webpage for Great Lakes Safety. For an injury-free summer, always remember to check the official forecast before heading to the beach or any other fun vacationing spot.