Warning for Beachgoers to Stay Out of Lake Michigan Water Continues

At least 17 Chicago beaches were under a swim ban Wednesday morning following the alert

For the third day in a row, beachgoers are being warned to stay out of Lake Michigan waters as "life-threatening waves and currents" are forecast.

Cook and Lake counties in Illinois, as well as Lake and LaPorte counties in Indiana, were all under a Beach Hazard statement through Wednesday afternoon and evening, according to the National Weather Service, which warned of waves ranging from 3 to 6 feet tall.

The NWS predicted strong rip currents, which can sweep swimmers into deeper water. It called the conditions life-threatening, warning beachgoers to stay out of the water and avoid areas like piers and break walls.

At least 17 Chicago beaches were under a swim ban Wednesday morning following the alert. Two others were under a swim advisory. 

Beaches under the swim ban included North Avenue, Montrose, Foster, Howard, 12th Street, 57th Street and more. A full list can be found on the Chicago Park District's website.

So far this year, authorities say 22 people have drowned in Lake Michigan. One of the most recent victims was 14-year-old Malik Freeman, who died while swimming in Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes on Saturday.

His parents said he knew how to swim but he was pulled under. The Freeman family said they believe his death could have been prevented with better warnings after another young boy drowned in the same area earlier that day.

"If the state park warned us, especially after the 10-year-old died, my son died an hour after him right in the same area," Malik's mother Micah Freeman said.

"If they would have sent out a warning or came by and told everybody on the beach that a 10-year-old kid was just pulled out of the water lifeless, we would have went home.”

Wednesday's alert remains in effect until 3 p.m. in Illinois and through Wednesday evening in Indiana. 

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