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Coast Guard Issues Warning After Man Drowns In South Haven: Lakes Are More Dangerous Than Ever

Fixed objects -- docks and more -- are hidden.

July 15, 2019 - 11:59 am

(WWJ) The Coast Guard is issuing a warning to boaters in metro Detroit after a man drowned in the St. Clair River.

The tragic incident happened Friday evening when Riley Gleason, 21,  of St. Clair Township jumped out of a boat into the water and didn't resurface.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Justin Bommer says the unusually high water levels are causing a powerful undercurrents that travels over 10 miles an hour, just a few feet below the water surface.

He says it's also causing dangerous conditions for boat operators.

"What you're having is people are throwing wake right into people's homes in some instances, the levels are so high. When you're navigating closer to shore like that there are old docks, pylons, or fixed objects that you could normally see, but right now they're submerged under water so you don't know until you hit them." 

Bommer says if you're on a boat and you see someone go under the water -- immediately throw available life rings into the area where they might be -- to give them a chance to survive.