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Rip Currents, High Waves Prompt Swim Ban On Lakefront

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High waves pound the lakefront at Fullerton Avenue, just north of North Avenue beach. (Credit: CBS)

High waves pound the lakefront at Fullerton Avenue, just north of North Avenue beach. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated 08/13/13 – 2:19 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Swimming was banned at all Chicago beaches Tuesday afternoon, due to high waves and potentially dangerous rip currents.

The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazard statement for Lake Michigan along Illinois beaches, through 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

“Dangerous pounding waves and life-threatening rip currents are expected at the beaches. People visiting the beaches should stay out of the water,” the National Weather Service said.

Rip currents don’t pull swimmers under the water, but rather away from shore. Swimmers drown when they panic and try to swim toward shore against the current and become exhausted.

The Chicago Park District banned swimming at all 23 beaches along the lakefront, due to “hazardous surf.”

You can see when swim bans have been lifted by clicking here.

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