In the wake of three drowning deaths in the last week, a report shows that Lake Michigan is the deadliest of all five Great Lakes.
Of the 40 drowning deaths in the Great Lakes so far in 2016, exactly half occurred in Lake Michigan, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
The nonprofit dedicated to improving water safety has compiled statistics on drowning deaths since 2010. It appears as though drownings have increased, as 23 people died in Lake Michigan in the entire year in 2015, compared to 20 in just over six months of 2016.
478 people have drowned in the Great Lakes since 2010, according to the GLSRP, 223 of which have been in Lake Michigan. The statistics are based on reports from the U.S. Coast Guard, first responders, and news outlets.
Lake Michigan had 83 drownings and 253 rescues of swimmers caught in currents between 2002 and 2015, according to data compiled by the National Weather Service and Michigan Sea Grant, the Chicago Tribune reports. That is more than double the number of current-related incidents for the four other Great Lakes combined.
Most recently, two men drowned at a northwest Indiana beach on Saturday while attempting to rescue a child from the powerful currents of Lake Michigan.
Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazards Statement warning beachgoers to stay out of the water, as high waves and strong currents were predicted to be treacherous.
Experts say the distinctive shape of the lake, with long, parallel shores makes it more susceptible to these dangerous currents, according to the Tribune. Lake Michigan also has the sandiest shores of the Great Lakes, the Tribune reports, drawing the most visitors to its beaches.