Lake Erie second deadliest Great Lake for drownings; total deaths down from last year

Lake Erie second deadliest Great Lake for drownings; total deaths down from last year
A kayak paddles past Whiskey Island on Lake Erie in December 2018. (Source: Michael Dakota)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A scary statistic for lake-lovers in Northeast Ohio: Lake Erie is the second deadliest Great Lake for drownings through the first six months of 2019.

Two drownings in Lake Erie were recorded in June 2019, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. Six total drownings in Lake Erie in 2019 have been recorded, although half are awaiting official confirmation.

Lake Erie follows Lake Michigan, which routinely ranks as the most dangerous of the Great Lakes. The GLSRP reports 13 drowning deaths in Lake Michigan this year, though two people’s causes of death require further investigation.

The number of drownings in Lake Erie is down since this time last year. In 2018, the GLSRP recorded 36 drownings, although six have not been 100% confirmed.

The GLSRP reported 22 total Great Lakes drownings through the first six months of 2019 and over 700 since 2010.

The U.S. averages 10 fatal drownings per day, according to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Experts say people should only swim in designated swimming areas, stay near lifeguards and learn CPR.

For additional water safety tips, visit the NDPA website.

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