After one of the harshest, longest winters in decades; and a Spring that might have been missed by anyone who overslept that day, Grand Haven State Park Officials are advising residents and visiting tourists to include jackets and gloves when packing for an afternoon at the beach this Summer.
Warmer temperatures have finally been felt in May, but with only two weeks before the Memorial Day weekend, the Lake Michigan water temperature is still only 37-degrees. The State Park Lifeguard staff are currently attending a two-day seminar on prevention & treatment of frostbite.
In a beach town built around tourism, the threat of ice in Lake Michigan during June or July has local civic and community leaders very concerned. In the words of one Chamber of Commerce employee speaking off-the-record to The Times, “Folks may be prepared to go home from the beach with a little sunburn or some sand in their shoes, but no one expects to go home minus a finger or toe lost to frostbite. That would be a total public-relations nightmare.”
In a joint statement issued by the Chamber and the Grand Haven State Park, residents and out-of-towners are being assured that area beaches are as safe and beautiful as ever. The statement goes on to say, “Should beach-goers encounter any remaining icebergs, they would be advised to swim around them while staying at least 6-8 feet away. In any event, swimmers should not stay in the water for more than 4-5 minutes, unless there is a team of paramedics standing by.”