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South Haven may bring back lifeguards after drownings

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A popular Lake Michigan beach town has been discussing whether to bring lifeguards back to the waterfront.

The South Haven Beach Safety Committee recently voted against recommending lifeguards or a second line of buoys, said City Manager Kate Hosier.

The committee’s work will be reviewed by the city council in South Haven, 60 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

Three people drowned in the area last summer and there were 23 rescues. The city stopped using lifeguards in 2001.

“It’s undisputed that lifeguards make a positive impact on beach safety,” committee member Kameron Daugherty said at a May 20 meeting.

Some members said South Haven residents should vote on whether to hire lifeguards.

South Haven uses a flag system to warn people about Lake Michigan conditions. South Haven Area Emergency Services recently bought a drone that can drop a flotation device to swimmers struggling in the water.