Our view: On hot days: More respect
We’ve escaped the oppressive heat so far this summer — and, for the most part, the poor decisions made by people desperate to cool off and the tragedies and near-tragedies that too often follow poor decisions. Recent Junes, Julys and Augusts have been marred by news of Northlanders drowning, cases of hypothermia and the need for daring water rescues.
With plenty of summer left this year, if anyone needed a reminder of the need to respect water as much as we welcome its cooling relief and to remember to always recognize its dangers even as we embrace its recreation, just such a reminder came yesterday. The Duluth Fire Department issued a warning for dangerous swimming conditions along Park Point’s beaches due to the high risk of rip currents. The wind and wave conditions were frighteningly ideal for currents that can prevent any swimmer, even those experienced and strong, from being able to safely return to shore.
The warning continues through 10 a.m. today.
“Stay out of the water,” the department said, simply, strongly and, appropriately, without negotiation. Lifeguards were removed from Park Point beaches and red flags flew at three locations to reinforce the stern warning.
Even without muggy, oppressive heat, it’s on all of us — whether we’re parents, on shore or poolside, or among those in the water cooling off — to be respectful of water, to watch out for each other and to keep safety in mind even when a cool-off is all we’re really thinking about.
We’ve had enough sadness and heart-wrenching tragedy, especially during summers past. In this summer’s waning weeks, let’s all heed the warnings and stay safe.