(FOX 2) - Following reports of dozens of drownings this year and several rescues over the holiday weekend, an organization that tracks the deaths in the Great Lakes is pleading with people celebrating Independence Day to be safe.
There were 12 rescues over the weekend, the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project reported Monday. Two of those cases are in unknown condition. So far, 47 people have drowned in 2022, including 20 in Lake Michigan.
The group's director says a lack of education among other factors can push those numbers up.
"A lack of public water safety education, crowded beaches, and the holiday hype could be contributors to this uptick," said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director. "Luckily lifeguards and first responders have been on the spot to respond to these incidents."
The group reported water rescues at Lakes Street Beach and Michigan City in Indiana.
The number of drownings hit a lowpoint in 2014 when 54 people died, the GLSRP reports. Since then, the figures have upticked and hit a high in 2018 when 117 died. One-hundred people drowned in 2021.