DANGEROUS WATERS

Series produced by Great Lakes Today

Series image

Drownings at Great Lakes beaches often have a common cause: dangerous currents similar to those found along the ocean. Over the past decade, some 500 drownings and rescues have been attributed to structural, longshore and rip currents. This four-part series examines the issue from various perspectives, including a grieving mother, scientists developing a warning system, and a Michigan beach where drownings are concentrated.
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Drownings at Great Lakes beaches often have a common cause: dangerous currents similar to those found along the ocean. Over the past decade, some 500 drownings and rescues have been attributed to these currents. In a four-part series, Great Lakes Today examines the issue from several perspectives.

Part 1: A grieving mother recalls the day her teenage son drowned on Lake Erie.

Part 2: A look at the science behind structural, longshore and rip currents, and at researchers trying to develop a warning system.

Part 3: A visit to Berrien Co., Mich., where several factors have led to a concentration of drownings.

Part 4: The search for solutions such as better education about ways to survive a powerful current.


4 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Melissa Zirkle with a picture of Jermaine, Credit: Elizabeth Miller
Melissa Zirkle grew up near Lake Erie, but didn't learn about the dangerous currents in the Great Lakes. She lost her son to a powerful current in...

Bought by WVBI-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WMUK, WCPN, WXXI and more


  • Added: Aug 12, 2016
  • Length: 03:13
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Silver Beach County Park in St. Joseph, Michigan, Credit: Elizabeth Miller
Since 2002, powerful currents in the Great Lakes have caused more than 150 drownings, researchers say. A look at the science behind the currents.

Bought by WVBI-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WRVO Public Media, WMUK, Delta College Public Radio and more


  • Added: Aug 12, 2016
  • Length: 03:37
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Waves crash against pier near Silver Beach, Credit: Elizabeth Miller
Berrien County, Mich., is a tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches and 50 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. But the community also ha...

Bought by WVBI-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WMUK, WXXI, WCPN and more


  • Added: Aug 12, 2016
  • Length: 03:31
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Lifeguards performing a drill at Silver Beach County Park, Credit: Elizabeth Miller
With lifeguards, warning signs, 911 phones and education efforts, beaches across the Great Lakes are preparing for emergencies. But how effective a...

Bought by WVBI-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WMUK, WXXI, WCPN and more


  • Added: Aug 12, 2016
  • Length: 03:24
  • Purchases: 7