We in Michigan are all very proud of our Great Lakes, although I bet many who live in the state do not partake in their beauty as often as out of staters.  I say that because many who live around “vacation” spots never appreciate them enough until the move away, I say this from experience.

I just read an article in Mlive.com that compared swimming in the Great Lakes to “being in a giant washing machine”.  I never thought of it that way, perhaps because I do not swim in the Great Lakes as much as others to understand what the analogy.

I write this piece to alert as many as possible of the dangers of swimming in these giant “washing machines”. Scott Rozanski, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Gaylord was quoted in the article stating:

The frequency of the waves is greater. It does make things a lot more difficult…They just keep battering you down a little bit. It's just a constant action that kind of wears you out.

According to the National Weather Service in one of their educational campaigns they advises people to:

Stay Dry When Waves are High…They come in fast, and close together…You have 3-5 seconds to recover if you get knocked down by a wave.

Why?

The waves generated by in the Great Lakes are mostly wind-whipped. Due to the waves being mostly wind-whipped they can be chaotic and come from all different directions.

So even if we accept the slogan from the popular t-shirts sold around the Great Lakes stating "No salt, No sharks, No problem", the waves can be a problem.  So certainly enjoy yourself at the Great Lakes just be aware of the waves and rip currents.

Have fun this summer but be safe while you do so.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595