A Dangerous Lake in the Winter

Dave was out at the lakefront yesterday and took this photo over by Diversey Harbor:

Diversey Harbor_28Feb2016_1

He sent me the pic along with these comments:

The break wall straight ahead is the Diversely Harbor wall where the 18 year old boy was washed off by the huge waves into the lake last Thursday. The police and fire department dive team gave up looking for him on Sunday morning.

The crowd you see still out there are the family members of this young man. Can you imagine the agony they must be going through right now?

The stark reality is that Lake Michigan is dangerous and merciless, particularly during the winter months. If you or a loved one falls into the sub-35F lake, you’ve got about a minute or so before your system completely seizes up and you sink to the bottom.

Whenever we come out for a lake swim during the winter, we are very deliberate about it, and we prepare extensively for the conditions we expect to face. And even with all these precautions, we will sometimes nix the swim entirely because the lake conditions are just too perilous.

Bottom line, unless you are fully prepared for a sudden immersion into these extreme temperatures, stay away from the lakefront this time of year.

And what’s more, don’t let any friends or family members get anywhere near the lakefront – especially if there are waves or swells!

Remember, Mother Nature has unlimited energy she can throw at you. You won’t win.

One Comment

  1. diver dave
    February 29, 2016

    I signed up for the body recovery crew back in 1979 when I completed my SCUBA certification . I heard that a boy was swept into the lake on Thursday when I learned the boy wasn’t found on Thursday – I drove to Chicago to help search for him on Friday morning. I was stuck in traffic a long time and I called WBBM to see if he was found and they said YES ! I decided to swam a mile on Montrose south wall and later Friday night I heard the boy was not found on the tv news… I returned on Sunday in hopes to help but the dive crews called off the search and a park police was stationed to insure no one entered the water. It was sad to see the family members looking into the lake in hopes to see him again. The south west winds were blowing so hard that if I did go in I would have had to walk back from Montrose south wall due to the heavy current.

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