Lake Michigan Safety

Safety and beach closuresDo not swim when rip current warnings are in effect. These strong currents can carry away even the strongest swimmer. If you do get caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current.

Don’t swim when there are large, crashing waves, which can cause rip currents. Swimming is not recommended when E. coli levels are high because the bacterium can sicken people.

Apply sunscreen liberally to avoid a sunburn.

Note: If dangerous rip currents or high E. coli levels are present, Indiana Dunes State Park will bar people from entering the water, although they can still enjoy the beach. Signs alerting the public about closures are placed at the main gate at 11 a.m. on the day of the closure — that is the time closure decisions are made. In addition, the park advises people to visit National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office and click on Chicago, IL and Northern Indiana, IN for rip current conditions along Lake Michigan, and to visit the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and click on BeachGuard Online Monitoring System for E. coli closures and advisories.

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore does not close its beach regardless of water conditions. Risks are inherent in all natural areas. During summer months, lifeguards are stationed at West Beach. Lifeguards are not present at other locations of the beach. Call 219-926-7561 followed by prompt #2 for information regarding E. coli levels.