MILWAUKEE — So far this year, 23 drownings have happened in Lake Michigan, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

One danger associated with Lake Michigan is the easy access to the water and the strong rip currents.

“Rip currents will take you out deeper than you can stand and that is where most people drown in Lake Michigan,” said Teresa Coronado of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.

Coronado shared this advice when it comes to swimming in Lake Michigan.

  • Know the water quality

  • Know the rip currents

  • Check the weather

  • Avoid alcohol 

  • Wear life jackets, but don’t rely on them heavily

Coronado is also part of the Milwaukee Beach Ambassadors. The ambassador program started in 2021, and if you head to the beach, you’ll likely see them walking up and down the shoreline, educating people about water conditions. 

But they’re not a replacement for lifeguards. 

“If we know it’s going to be a day where the rip currents are going to be particularly bad, we may say, ‘Hey, there’s rip currents. Do you know what those are? If you’re caught in one, do you know what to do?’” said Coronado.  “But, in any emergency, our ambassadors are just citizens on the beach, so they’ll call 911 just like anyone else.”