‘On track to be the worst year on record:’ Almost 100 people have drowned in the Great Lakes in 2018

Of all of the Great Lakes, lake Michigan is oriented nearly north-south.

GREAT LAKES — The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announced on Saturday, Sept. 8 their current drowning statistics. In 2018, there were 96 Great Lakes drownings.  Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked 719 Great Lakes drownings. Full statistics here.

“I hoped the Great Lakes drownings would subside after the 13 Labor Day fatalities, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP Executive Director. “This year is on track to be the worst year on record for the Great Lakes.”

To date in 2018 by Lake:

  • 33 in Lake Michigan
  • 6 in Lake Superior
  • 8 in Lake Huron
  • 31 in Lake Erie
  • 18 in Lake Ontario

“I cannot stress enough that drowning really is a public health issue that needs to be treated like a public health issue,” said Benjamin. “A water safety school curriculum needs to be mandated and funded in the Great Lakes region as well as nationwide.”

To date since 2010:

  • 87 in 2011
  • 99 in 2012
  • 67 in 2013
  • 54 in 2014
  • 55 in 2015
  • 99 in 2016
  • 88 in 2017
  • 96 in 2018

“Great Lakes drownings are just the tip of the iceberg of the nationwide drowning crisis,” said Benajmin.