Safety improvements coming to Racine’s North Beach after drowning

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North Beach Racine

North Beach Racine

RACINE — Racine Parks officials are making safety enhancements to area beaches after a 10-year-old drowned last year in an unprotected area of North Beach, close to the pier.

The Racine Parks Department met to review the incident and discuss what could be done in the future to educate visitors and prevent similar situations.

A primary focus of the team is to develop prevention strategies to reduce preventable childhood deaths.

Recommendations to be implemented for the 2012 beach season include:

  • Providing signs which are more visible to visitors indicating protected areas, areas closed to swimming, dangerous breakwater, water quality and rip currents.
  • Stringing buoys from the water to shore in order to better identify the protected areas. Flags will be used at the shore line to mark these areas.
  • Lifeguards will patrol the unprotected area near the pier and if he/she encounters anyone, the lifeguard will point out the prevention signs and explain the dangers of entering the water in an unprotected area.
  • A Jet Ski was purchased to provide lifeguard staff a quicker response time to an incident.
  • A second Head Lifeguard will be hired to ensure that a head lifeguard is available seven days a week.
  • Junior Lifeguards will be recruited and trained to provide on shore duties like educating visitors on how to have a safe day at the beach.
  • A course is being created that would invite people to North Beach to explain the rules of the beach, the hidden dangers of open water and how to enjoy a safe day at the beach.

“The Racine beaches are one of our most impressive commodities and safety at the beach is everyone’s responsibility. If everyone obeys the signs and the lifeguards, we can all have a safe and enjoyable summer,” Racine Mayor John Dickert said.