KENOSHA -- After the drownings of three young men within a three-week period, Coast Guard officials said Tuesday, August 8th their first message to those thinking about heading into the water is to know the conditions beforehand.
It was a beautiful day in SE Wisconsin on Tuesday; the water temperature was in the upper 60s and the swim risk was considered "low" up and down the shoreline. Coast Guard officials, however, warned the Great Lakes can be dangerous for anyone at any time.
14-year-old Sareyi Ahmed drowned at Atwater Park Beach in Shorewood after jumping into Lake Michigan from the break wall on July 18th. His brother said he was not an experienced swimmer. Officials said Ahmed asked friends to record him jumping into the water.
A 16-year-old boy drowned in Lake Michigan in Racine on July 30th. He was identified as Amari Donell Griffin-Brewer from Racine. It happened while Griffin-Brewer was swimming with friends. He went under, and never resurfaced.
Rescue crews on August 7th were called out to Kenosha's lakefront -- where an 18-year-old man drowned. There was a heavy police presence in the area, beginning around 6:30 p.m., near North Pier in downtown Kenosha. Police said an 18-year-old was attempting to swim to the break wall with a friend when he encountered difficulty with the harbor currents and went under the water.
A second male was able to swim back to the pier safely.
Lake Michigan is notorious for dangerous currents close to shore.
The lake's distinctive configuration -- as a 307-mile long lake with twin, uninterrupted shorelines running north to south -- make it especially vulnerable to two dangerous types of currents, called rip and longshore. Lake Michigan has had 82 drownings and 243 rescues of swimmers caught in currents since 2002.