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community weblog - [ Great Lakes drownings: 89 so far this year ]

Great Lakes drownings: 89 so far this year

BEULAH — Jackie Kovacs went to Peterson Beach in Benzie County for swimming and sun, but she ended up barely surviving a nightmare of rip currents.

It's a story all too familiar in Lake Michigan coastal communities: Kovacs, a tourist from Lombard, Ill., watched in horror Aug. 5 as a menacing Lake Michigan rip current swept her 10-year-old granddaughter from the shoreline. Kovacs rushed into the water to rescue the child, and the current gripped her, too.

Kovacs and her granddaughter were rescued from their frightening ordeal, but Ohio tourist Kevin Patrick Schlake, 40, was not so lucky. Three hours later, he became one of 89 people to drown in the Great Lakes this year when he fell victim to the same merciless currents at Peterson Beach.  more...

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