Beach warning system proposed in Muskegon

Pere Marquette Beach

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Muskegon is looking to improve safety along its beaches by installing a first of its kind warning system.

The city currently doesn’t have a warning system in place, not even flags.

But after a drowning last summer, the public safety director wants to change that.

City officials want to install two warning towers along Pere Marquette Beach. One tower would be located along the pier, and the other near the water treatment facility.

The bottom portion of the towers would include phones for people to use in an emergency. The middle section would have a red warning light that the city can flash when beach conditions become dangerous, and a warning is issued by the National Weather Service.

The top portion of the tower will feature a loud speaker system where emergency tones will be sounded and verbal messaged can be delayed to beachgoers and first responders.

“A lot of times our divers go into the water either on a rescue or a recovery and it’s very difficult to communicate with them because radios don’t work well on the water. It is windy, it is noisy, and screaming and yelling don’t do well,” said City of Muskegon Director of Public Safety Jeffrey Lewis. “We can’t bring our apparatus ambulances and police cars down to the beach and use PA’s, they’re farther up.”

However, there is a major road block to implementing the warning system. Each tower will cost around $30,000.

The city hopes to raise the money through private donors and grants.

Lewis said he would like the towers ready by July or August of this year.

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