Beachgoers In South Haven Could be Fined For Walking On The Pier
Most of us that live in the Kalamazoo area and throughout the western side of the state love to visit Lake Michigan. Some of the popular spots for those in our area are the Van Buren State Park, Grand Haven State Park, Silver Beach, and South Haven's North and South beaches to name a few. As the weather gets warmer Michiganders have been itching to get back to the beach with their feet in sand, sun shining, and waters on their bodies.
South Haven's North beach has been the more popular beach for quite some time now, mostly because there is tons of space, the concession stand, and most importantly they have the pier. Many visitors like to walk out on the pier and take pictures of the beautiful lake, take pictures of themselves and friends by the lighthouse, and of course watch all the various boats come thru the channel. This year, things may be different for beachgoers.
In the recent years South Haven police have seen an uptick in numbers which also brings about trash and sometimes trouble. They have seen violence on the beach and in the surrounding areas rise, along with crime. Some of this is due to out of city/state visitors on holidays and others are more regular attendees who live closer by. They have also seen lots of accidents occur on the pier, from inflicted violence to drownings.
South Haven is known for its spectacular fireworks show over the fourth of July holiday, but that's also been cancelled the past few years due to Covid of course but also the year before pandemic due to high violence and crime rates during past shows. Recently, a man shot a woman out on the pier as well as some visitors having fallen off and drowned due to the current and hitting their heads on rocks beneath the pier.
To combat the violence and the horrible accidents that have occurred recently, the South Haven police have placed a temporary ban on visitors going to the pier. This is not a ban that is in effect all the time, but only when the weather is bad, because thats when most accidents happen. They want to keep people off the pier when the currents are strong or their is strong wind.
There is also an increased police presence on the beach and in the surrounding neighborhood to hopefully bring the crime numbers back to a reasonable rate while also still allowing beachgoers to enjoy their time. They are also looking to deter anybody who feels the need to commit a crime or walk out on the pier as the fine is HEFTY. Being caught on the pier at a time that you shouldn't be could cost you upwards of $1,000! And if you're not careful they could rack up and you could be in a huge financial hole.