Water emergency training to take place Saturday.

June 3, 2021

File photo

Water emergency training to take place Saturday.

LUDINGTON — On Saturday June 5, 2021, Mason County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Mason-Oceana Water Safety Coalition, will be facilitating an exercise in and around Ludington Harbor. Depending on weather conditions, the exercise scenarios may be taking place in Pere Marquette River, Pere Marquette Lake, and/or Lake Michigan. The public may notice additional public safety boats and a US Coast Guard Helicopter participating in the exercise, and marine vessels may observe exercise radio communications on Marine Channel 83. The exercise will be occurring from approximately 10 a.m. to noon.

Due to the involvement of the USCG Helicopter, drone operators are asked to avoid operating in the area for the safety of the helicopter and exercise participants. 

Several public safety agencies will be participating in the exercise to prepare for the upcoming boating and swim season. Exercises like this help to prepare emergency responders to collaborate and coordinate while dealing with a water emergency, such as a drownings and boat accidents.

Mason County Emergency Management Coordinator Elizabeth Reimink said while first responders train to ensure the best response to an emergency, the public is encouraged to do its part by taking water safety seriously. “Boaters are encouraged to wear their life jackets at all times while recreating,” she said. “Additionally, it is a great practice to have and share your float plan. Make sure someone knows where you plan to go and when you should be arriving back to shore. Finally, please take the time to teach young children about dangerous currents and how to escape them. The recent tragedies in and around Mason County could have been prevented by following these and other safety tips.”

The Mason-Oceana Water Safety Coalition is a collaborative entity consisting of public safety and community partners dedicated to increasing water safety throughout our communities. Similar exercises have been occurring since 2019 to improve water emergency responses and bolster preparedness efforts. In recent years, additional community partners have joined the Water Safety Coalition to promote education and increase drowning prevention efforts. Sandcastles Children’s Museum has created a new water safety exhibit and is sponsoring the post-exercise debrief. 

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