Lake Michigan town installing lights to improve beach safety

A popular summer town along Lake Michigan is trying to improve beach safety through technology.

Frankfort will use cellular phone networks and weather data to regularly update lights installed at the beach entrance and at the pier, 9 & 10 News reported.

Signs will explain the different lights and beach conditions. The northern Michigan city received a $12,000 grant from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

"The weather can turn at any moment," Frankfort Superintendent Joshua Mills said. "It can create a safe environment to an unsafe environment in an instant. We just want to better educate our community and our guests and our visitors."

Frankfort (Photo by Amber Ainsworth)

At least 12 people have been swept off the Frankfort pier since 2018, including three who died, police said.

"Our local base has a really good knowledge and awareness of the dangers associated with Lake Michigan," Mills said. "Our guests and visitors — we just got to do a better job educating them."

The lights will be installed in May.