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National Weather Service warns of dangerous swim conditions in Lake Michigan

By Amanda Becker

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    MILWAUKEE (WDJT) — The national weather service is warning people of dangerous swim conditions in four counties along Lake Michigan Tuesday.

It issued a high risk warning for beaches in Racine, Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties.

Lieutenant Phil Gurtler with the US Coast Guard says we could see waves of four to six feet on beaches in the area.

“We can’t tell people not to swim, but when we see advisories like that we can definitely say you probably shouldn’t,” said Lt. Gurtler. “Especially if you are unprepared of if for any reason you’re not a great swimmer.”

The Heard family was one of many out at Bradford Beach Tuesday afternoon enjoying the 90 degree weather. They say it was important to teach their kids to swim, but they’re still going to play it safe.

“If the waves too deep I gotta go. And the kids have to go because I don’t want none of the kids drowning or nothing like that,” said Shayri Heard.

The strong cold front is expected to create rapidly building waves along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Coast Guard is asking people to follow it, even if you’re not swimming.

“One concern a lot of people don’t think about even just walking along piers, jettys, break walls, if the waves are high enough they’ll actually come on to whatever structure your on and sweep you out into the water,” said Lt. Phil Gurtler “You might think you’re completely safe on shore but you’re not.”

The National Weather Service says people should be alert for quick changes in weather and water conditions Tuesday afternoon and evening.

According to data from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, drownings in all of the Great Lakes are up this year already. Lake Michigan alone drownings are up from 12 to 15 in the same time frame.

The beach advisory goes until Wednesday morning.

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