This Independence Day it is important to take precaution as we head to the water. Michigan’s lakes and beaches are some of our greatest treasures, but they also pose one of our state’s greatest dangers for swimmers.
In a 2004 issue of National Geographic, Lake Michigan was identified as one of the most dangerous zones, with undertows and rip currents that have caused more than 50 drownings since 2000. Over the past five years, more than 30 people have drowned off Southwest Michigan’s coast alone.
I have reintroduced House Bill 5168 to further increase the safety of all people on Michigan’s waterfront. This legislation is a direct result of unfortunate fatalities over the past several years and a local lifeguard bringing it to my attention.
Lifeguards are trained to save lives – sometimes at the risk of their own. When a person is in crisis, lifeguards are trained to react. HB 5168 expands Michigan’s Good Samaritan Act to offer protection to lifeguards.
My legislation protects them from liability when they perform lifesaving emergency care, in an act of good faith, for everyone’s best protection.
Many accidents are preventable with proper caution. With nearly 100 accidental drownings each year in our state alone, it is vital we take swimming safety seriously and with proper precaution. Please use extra precaution this Independence Day.