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DNR delays decision on red flag swimming ban

The proposed order would allow the DNR to close state-run beaches due to red flag conditions such as high winds or dangerous waves.

Decisions are yet to be made about the potential for a swimming ban while red flags fly. 

Thursday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was set to decide on a proposal banning swimming during dangerous lake conditions. However, that decision was tabled until further notice to allow for further public review of the order.

The proposed order would allow the DNR to close state-run beaches due to red flag conditions such as high winds or dangerous waves. The goal is to reduce drownings and water rescues.

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, 56 people have drowned in the Great Lakes, including 24 in Lake Michigan, so far this year.

The order does make exceptions for surfers, kite boarders and water boarders. They say rough conditions can be ideal, and they are prepared for the risk.

DNR Director Dan Eichinger is expected to make the final decision on the proposal during a meeting in September. If approved, the order will go into effect next year.

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