Fire Responders Advocate for Beach Safety on Lake Superior

SUPERIOR, WI. — Lake Superior winds and rip currents can be dangerous for swimmers.

Wisconsin Point holds a 2.75 mile beach. It is a popular summer attraction to boatloads of people. The Superior Fire Department says that beach visitors should be aware of hazards and take precautions.

The beach is self-monitored, meaning no lifeguards are on duty. This makes the importance of fire responders even greater.

Battalion Chief Joe Tribbey, said that, “Given the size of our department vs other departments and what we have to cover, we definitely are unique. A lot of our waterfront is heavily industrialized so we have to plan for that and then we have something like an almost three mile long beach on the biggest fresh water lake in the world that we also have to monitor.”

It can take fire responders nearly 10 minutes to arrive at Wisconsin Point, so they monitor it on a case-to-case basis. Life jackets and floating devices are highly encouraged for kids and swimmers.
The department does have a flat-bottom boat to enter shallow areas when necessary.

People can stay safe by checking the rip current and drop-off levels upon arriving to the beach. To warm up after swimming, fires are allowed, but must be at least 10 feet from any vegetation.

Tribbey explained, “really what it comes down to is always know where your kids are especially around water.” In continuum, “we want people to enjoy it, we want people to have a good time, but we just want to make sure they’re doing it safe so that they don’t have to see us.”

The fire department will continue monitoring beach grounds throughout the summer and the rest of the year.


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