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NWS: Avoid swimming, going on piers Thursday due to dangerous conditions

High waves and strong currents are expected on Lake Michigan Thursday, making swimming and going out on piers dangerous.

MICHIGAN, USA — With high waves and strong currents coming to the lakeshore, Michiganders are encouraged to stay out of the lake and off the piers Thursday.

Meteorologists predict waves could reach four to six feet in height, causing dangerous swimming conditions. Strong currents can pull swimmers further into the lake. In addition, waves can wash over piers, sweeping people into the water.

Because of this, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Beach Hazards Statement for Mason, Oceana, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren and Muskegon counties. The statement goes into effect at 11 a.m. and lasts through Thursday night.

The NWS says north-facing beaches will be especially dangerous. This includes Muskegon State Park, Holland State Park, Mears State Park and North Beach in South Haven.

RELATED: DNR not considering lifeguards on Lake Michigan, enhances other safety measures

These dangerous swimming conditions come days after several drownings. On Sunday, a Wyoming man died while swimming in Grand Haven, and two young swimmers drowned Monday in South Haven.

Beachgoers are encouraged to avoid the water and piers throughout Thursday.

In addition, flags at the beach indicating swimming conditions should be watched. Green flags mean conditions are safe for swimming. A yellow flag means there is a moderate current and caution should be exercised when entering the water. A red flag means the water is closed to the public and rip currents are especially dangerous along the pier. 

Some beaches also use double red flags, which means swimming is prohibited and anyone found swimming during those conditions can be fined.

For more information on the dangerous conditions, click here.

Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE

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