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GLIN==> New beach signs in English and Spanish warn swimmers to be aware of dangerous rip currents.
- Subject: GLIN==> New beach signs in English and Spanish warn swimmers to be aware of dangerous rip currents.
- From: Elizabeth LaPorte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 15:18:03 -0400
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- List-name: GLIN-Announce
Title: New beach signs in English and Spanish warn
swimmers to be
University of Michigan News Service
May 23, 2006
New beach signs in English and Spanish warn
swimmers to be aware of dangerous rip currents.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Visitors to lakes Michigan and Superior this
summer will notice new beach signs publicizing the dangers of rip
currents---powerful currents that can develop in the Great Lakes and
Michigan Sea Grant is coordinating placement of the signs,
produced in English and Spanish, in west Michigan and the Upper
Peninsula. The new signs are designed to increase awareness of the
dangers of rip currents by describing how to recognize them and how to
escape if caught in a rip current.
"We want people have a good time, but be informed about the
danger of rip currents," said Chuck Pistis, one of three Michigan
Sea Grant educators facilitating the distribution of the new signs
before this coming swimming season.
Michigan Sea Grant, which is administered at the University of
Michigan, is a cooperative program between U-M and Michigan State
University that promotes sustainability of the Great Lakes. In
addition to providing beach signs, Michigan Sea Grant distributes rip
currents brochures and maintains a Web page with information about rip
Rip currents are narrow, fast-moving channels of water that move
away from shore and are rarely more than 30 feet wide. They are
powerful enough to sweep away even the strongest swimmers. Nationally,
more than 100 people die annually from rip currents.
Experts believe a number of drownings in lakes Michigan and
Superior probably happened because people panicked when a rip current
pulled them from shore. Sea Grant, in cooperation with the NOAA
National Weather Service, offers these tips to swimmers to break the
grip of a rip current:
--Don't fight the current.
--Swim parallel to shore to get out of the current then head back
to shore at an angle.
--If you can't escape, float calmly until the current
--Call or wave for assistance if you need help.
Rip currents typically form at breaks in sandbars and also near
structures, such as piers, regardless of weather conditions. Warning
signs of rip currents may include:
--A channel of churning choppy water.
--A difference in water color.
--A break in the incoming wave pattern.
--Foam or debris moving away from shore.
To contact News Service
By fax: (734) 764-7084
By phone: (734) 764-7260
By mail: 412 Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1399
By Internet: http://www.umich.edu/news
Fisheries Learning on the
Michigan Sea Grant College
Communications Director &
Address: 401 E. Liberty St.,
Suite 330, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2298