Life ring missing from Laketown Beach

Replacement rescue device to be in place by weekend.
The life ring at Laketown Township Baech on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

The rescue ring at Laketown Township Beach is missing.

The orange life ring with the words “Laketown Twp” stenciled on it was not at its station Thursday morning, June 27, 2024.  The ring was in place on a post with rip current warning signs on Wednesday.

A new ring will be in place by the weekend, according to the township.

If you know where the life-saving device is, please return it to the beach, township hall, 4338 Beeline Road, or to a township official.

The rescue ring was installed this season on May 23. It has been a fixture at the beach since 2023.

Beach safety

The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission purchased the ring and rip current warning signs in 2022.

The signs – one in English, one in Spanish — explain the dangers of rip currents and what to do in case a swimmer gets caught in one. The life ring can be used as a flotation device to help a swimmer in need.

Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, according to the National Weather Service. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves. They can pull a swimmer away from shore and submerge them.

State parks and other beaches use a flag system to warn visitors of lake dangers. Laketown Beach does not have warning flags or lifeguards. Beachgoers are advised to check the National Weather Service website for lake conditions.

About the beach

Laketown Beach, 6710 142nd Ave., has about 200 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. Entrance is free. Access requires using wooden steps and walking a steep sand dune. Parking is limited. A portable restroom is available in the parking lot. No dogs allowed.

Visitors should stay on the paths and off the fragile dunes. The township has spent more than $100,000 in the past few years to plant grass to help stabilize the dunes.