CHICAGO (CBS) – Lakefront visitors are being advised to check the flags at Chicago beaches before going into the water on Friday, because of possible danger of rip currents from choppy conditions.
The National Weather Service issued a beach hazards statement for Lake Michigan in the Chicago area, and CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports there is a risk of 3- to 4-foot waves along the lakefront on Friday.
The choppy conditions also could create dangerous rip currents, which can drag swimmers far out from shore.
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 warned beach visitors to check the flags at the beaches for possible swim advisories or swim bans.
Although no swim bans were in place as of shortly before noon Friday, at least 16 beaches had issued swim advisories; mostly for rough surf. Some of the advisories were due to water quality issues, because of high bacteria levels.