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Coast Guard: Stay off Lake Michigan this weekend

Posted: 5:07 PM, Sep 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-08 23:45:00Z

The Coast Guard is warning people to stay out of Lake Michigan this weekend as waves climb upwards of 8 feet. They say swimmers aren't the only ones in danger. 

While the chill in the air and 58-degree water will likely deter most from swimming in Lake Michigan over the weekend, surfers flock for big waves, as do people along the piers. 

Daniel Allen of San Antonio made a family trip to Milwaukee for the weekend. They kept swimsuits in their suitcase as they got their feet wet at Bradford Beach.

"With experience with waves like this, it can be pretty unpredictable and you can get swept away pretty quick without realizing it," Allen said.  

While tall waves may be unfamiliar to what Allen has seen on lakes before, surfers are even more unusual. 

"He's pretty brave," Allen said while looking out at a surfer on the water. "It looks like it could be fun, but I wouldn't do it right now. He's risking it right now being out there."

Fernando Pla with the U.S. Coast Guard said waves aren't the only issue. The current often carries a mighty undertow that could pull you under. 

"If you aren't a very good, experienced swimmer, it will probably pull you out and you will probably drown," Pla said. 

Piers like the one near McKinley Marina are a popular spot to watch the waves crash. The Coast Guard is asking people to steer clear of them as well.

"If you see waves going out, breaking over the piers, it's very dangerous and people might slip and fall," Pla said.  

Dangerous swimming conditions are expected to last until Monday morning.