Dangerous water conditions close swimming at a Michigan state park

Michigan

Emergency responders at Ludington State Park after a man went missing in the water on July 25, 2019. (Gregory Schroder/ReportIt)

MASON COUNTY, Mich (WLNS) – Sable River outlet into Lake Michigan at Ludington State Park is closed to swimming.

Dangerous high-water conditions and strong currents prompted the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to close the outlet to swimming.

The outlet area is not part of Ludington State Park’s designated beach area, but access normally is not prohibited.

The Mason County sheriff’s office requested that state officials make the Big Sable River mouth off limits to swimmers until water levels go down.

This closure follows the day after a 38-year-old man went missing after he was swept into Lake Michigan from the mouth of the Big Sable River in western Michigan.

“We strongly encourage anyone who insists on swimming in nondesignated areas to still take the time to check the flag status in the designated areas,” said Kasey Mahony, Cadillac district supervisor for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

The green, yellow and red flag warning system indicate what the conditions are.

Green is fair, but always stay aware of changing conditions.

Yellow means caution so it is important to watch for dangerous currents and high waves.

Red means stop or do not enter the water and do not swim.

“Even if you’re swimming in an area that you’ve visited year after year, and you feel very familiar it, recent high waters like what we’ve been experiencing can completely change the landscape, the water currents, everything,” Mahony said.

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