My friends...............if you are going to visit West Michigan, I want you to be aware that the Big Lake is something to take seriously.
There are plenty of folks in the area who drown in the Big Lake. But more often than not, it's visitors who get themselves killed in Lake Michigan when visiting our fine beaches. I see this year after year. Year after year.
I think there's a belief that since the Great Lakes aren't oceans, they're generally benign.
Here's the thing............rip currents are actual things in the Great Lakes. They will suck you out into the deep where the water is so cold your body freezes up and even if you're a great swimmer, it doesn't matter. You cramp and you sink.
A friend of mine was a life guard and he saw a man sink even as he reached down to help him. Imagine being a guy in his late teens watching a guy sink just out of your reach. Don't be the fucking sinking guy. You'll not just die, but you'll mess up some kid life guard for the rest of his life.
Seriously.....check the Department of Natural Resources recommendations when planning on swimming.
If you're a visitor to the area....swim ONLY at state parks because they will show you a FLAG indicating the safety of the water.
RED means DON'T SWIM. Just don't. I know the water looks fun as hell with the steamroller waves pounding in, but fucking hell, just DON'T SWIM on Red Flag days. Go get ice cream. Go bowling. Go to some inland lake. But for the love of god, don't swim in the Big Lake on a red flag day.
DO NOT SWIM in Lake Michigan on a RED FLAG DAY.
I'm so sick of reading Summer headlines every fucking year of one family after another who came to the area only to meet with tragedy because they weren't aware of the potential dangers.
I get it. You drove here from far away and dayum those white caps look like fun to swim in.
But just find a nice inland lake to swim in if the state park beach flags are red. It'll be fun! You'll have a great time. And maybe later in the evening the Lake Michigan waters will have settled down. Or the next day.
Today at Duck Lake park the water at the Big Lake was warm, and calm as glass.
That's what you want.
If you're visiting West Michigan, take the water seriously.
Rip currents pull you out into the lake. DON'T FIGHT THE CURRENT. Swim parallel to the shoreline and swim OUT of the rip current.