May 30, Newsletter


In an effort to keep clients and friends of the firm updated on recent developments, we send along the following notes.

myBeachCast App Upgrade Looks to Enhance Beachgoers' Safety
Summer is knocking on the doorstep and swimming season is set to begin in the Great Lakes.  That means Great Lakes area residents and vacationers will soon flock to the more than 2,000 beaches in the region.

The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) is encouraging beachgoers to download the myBeachCast mobile app to get the latest swim advisories, weather conditions and hazard alerts for the Great Lakes region beaches.  The app can be accessed and downloaded at myBeachCast will add an iOS (iPhone) version in the year ahead, as well as additional information about hazards and dangerous currents to increase the safety of beachgoers.  The announcement was made at an event at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, which launched the Great Lakes Beach Safety Awareness week, designated June 1 - 7.

"We want to ensure that people's time spent at the beach and enjoying our waters is safe and fun", Christine Manninen, the GLC communications director, said.  "Through the use of the mobile technologies, we have new ways to alert people to high waves and other dangerous conditions and hopefully save lives".

Funding for the beach app enhancements comes through a recently awarded grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Storms Program.

To help protect swimmers from dangerous currents, myBeachCast now features beach hazard statements issued by NOAA.  Beach hazard statements are issued for Great Lakes beaches by the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) when the potential for strong and dangerous (rip) currents and waves is medium or high.

Drowning incidents in the Great Lakes are on the rise in recent years.  The NWS incident reports indicate that on Lake Michigan alone there have been more than 300 current-related incidents since 2002 and over 60% of rescue attempts have occurred near piers and other permanent structures where dangerous currents are often present.

Swimmers should look for green, yellow and red flags at beaches, which indicate the presence of dangerous currents.  In addition, beachgoers can follow these tips to stay safe:
  • Ask children to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  • In an emergency, call 911 and communicate your exact location
  • Bring something that floats if going in the water
  • If caught in a dangerous current, alert someone that you're in trouble by shouting or waving your arms, and then float (don't panic) until someone can assist or you can swim at an angle out of the current to shore
  • Avoid swimming near piers, break walls and other structures
  • If there are high winds or waves, stay on shore. When in doubt, don't go out!


Funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the app also includes real-time and forecasted weather and lake conditions, and near-shore marine forecasts. For additional information, visit
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Paul F. Bohn 
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