As Beachgoers Hit The Water, Duluth Fire Officials Urge Caution

DULUTH, Minn.– As the school year winds down and temperatures go up, beach enthusiasts are out enjoying the nice weather.

The Park Point Beach was packed Monday afternoon on one of the warmest days of the spring so far.

“The weather was nice so we said, ‘Yeah why not?’ and it’s amazing to see all of these people outside,” said beachgoers and Duluth residents Jeremiah Korich and Ellie Davis.

All along the shores, people enjoyed spending time in the water or just laying down to catch their first tan of the season.

Korich and Davis were just two of the many people out at Park Point who wanted to make the most of their first opportunity to hit the beach.

“Last summer we said, ‘let’s try and get out more and it never happened. So this is going to be the summer that we actually get out of the house more and enjoy the beautiful weather that we’re having,” said Korich.

The two like to come to the beach to swim in the waters of Lake Superior, throw a frisbee, and lay on the sand and relax.

“It’s really crazy how just coming to the beach can really alleviate some stress that we’re all feeling,” said Korich.

But as beachgoers return, first responders are reminding people to stay safe on the water. Following 49 drownings and 16 boat fatalities recorded in Minnesota in 2020, both increases from the year before.

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie says equipment like Marine-19 is a big help for rescue crews as calls have increased over the last few years.

“More people using the water,” said Consie. “More people boating I think more people are visiting Duluth and heading out to the beaches.”

Consie says to always wear a life jacket and to let others know when you’ll be on the boat, along with no drinking and boating.

Next week, the national weather service will begin releasing forecasts for rip currents to help beachgoers be more aware of water conditions at park point, which Consie says is a higher hazard are for swimming because of the strong currents.

“They get kind of surprised that it’s happening and they don’t recognize that they’re in that current,” said Consie. “Recognize that it’s happening and then make sure that it’s parallel to shore to get out of that rip current. And you’ll find out that you can usually easily get right back to shore once you’re outside of that rip current.”

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