City Urges Public to be Aware of Swim Condition Warnings

DULUTH, Minn.– Last year there were 25 water emergencies through the city of Duluth, and this year there are already 20.

But with two of the most recent happening last week, the Duluth Fire Department and Park Point lifeguards who are urging swimmers to be aware of quickly changing conditions.

In one of the most common areas for rip currents in Duluth, Park Point Beach has four flag stations and four life ring stations to warn people of conditions daily, but also offer a rescue option if responders can’t get there right away.

One of the life rings was used in a Wednesday night rescue of a 20 year old woman who was treated at a local hospital.

The fire department is doing what they can to warn the public of rip currents, as public awareness is key to saving lives.

“We want people to know first of all what the flags mean, and to head the warning of the flags, we want people to know how to get out of a rip current, should they get into a rip current, that’s swim parallel to the shore, recognize first you’re in a rip current and swim parallel to the shore,” Duluth Fire Department Assistant Chief, Brent Consie, said.

Park Point lifeguards are also trained on rip currents, and know how to recognize them in more detail than others.

“When the waves are coming in, and then if you don’t see waves coming in anymore, that’s kind of where a rip current would be. Sometimes they’re a little like swirly motion too in the water. On bigger wave days it’s easier to identify than on days with less waves,” Alison Wieber, the Aquatics Coordinator at the Duluth YMCA and Park Point Lifeguard, said.

Lifeguards are also down on Park Point at the Beach House on both green and red flag days to warn of dangerous conditions, or answer any questions.

Life guards are on duty from noon to 5 Monday through Thursday, and 11-6 Friday through Sundays.

The YMCA is still hiring if you are interested in becoming one.

Authorities say if you are planning on heading to the lake, make sure you pay attention to the signs and warning posted before deciding to swim.

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