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official: Dangerous currents force closure of Marquette beaches

August 11, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - City of Marquette beaches may remain closed today with the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township forecasting a high risk of rip currents along Lake Superior continuing for a second day.

The Marquette Fire Department announced closure of city beaches Friday afternoon, after the National Weather Service released a similar forecast.

"The beaches will remain closed to swimming until such time as weather and water conditions allow safe recreation to take place," Marquette Fire Department Chief Tom Belt said in a news advisory Friday.

Article Photos

A U.S. Coast Guard craft makes its way out to Picnic Rocks after four people were seen swimming to the rocks on Friday. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)

The NWS forecast said Friday wind or wave conditions existed that supported dangerous rip currents from north of Presque Isle Park, south and east along the shoreline, into Alger County, continuing east past the Grand Marais Harbor.

Forecasters said "rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf."

In addition, a dangerous channel conditions warning was issued for Picnic Rocks in Marquette, with swimming prohibited.

Friday evening, Marquette Police, U.S. Coast Guard and Marquette Fire Department personnel were working to safely remove four people from Picnic Rocks, who swam out from the beach.

Earlier in the day, swimmers jumping from the Black Rocks were advised to leave by police because of the high winds and waves.

The city's website maintains updated beach status and water conditions reports at Use the "Waterfront Safety" cue on the left side of the page.

For more information, contact the fire department at 225-8936.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is



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