Lifeguard season ends on Silver Beach
ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- You’ll now want to take extra precautions when heading to Silver Beach, as lifeguards will no longer be on duty at the park.
August 15 marked the end of lifeguard season on the beach, which runs from June to August each year.
The Berrien County Parks Department keeps 14 lifeguards stationed at Silver Beach each year during those peak summer months.
The decision to remove lifeguards in mid-August they say is due to fewer tourists packing the beach.
“We usually see a decrease in visitor-ship because in typical years Indiana and Illinois students are going back to school around this time,” said Jill Adams, Environmental Property Manager for the Berrien County Parks Department.
This also coordinates with their lifeguards back-to-school schedules, most of whom are students themselves.
To make up for the loss, Silver Beach park rangers step up to observe the water and enforce safety.
“Anyone coming to the beach can ask any rangers or the gatehouse attendant what conditions are like, but it all does kind of fall back on the people coming to the beach to use common sense,” said Adams.
That common sense includes testing the temperature of the water, typically much colder than the air, monitoring wave heights and possible rip currents and wearing life jackets - especially children - as well as being aware of how quickly the sandbars can change underwater.
Most importantly, to find other ways to enjoy the beach when a red flag is out.
“You can build sandcastles, play volleyball, you can do all kinds of things at the beach but when the conditions are bad in the water we need people not to go in,” said Adams.
Adams also recommends people check the National Weather Service of Northwest Indiana’s daily beach hazard statement before their visit, as well as the U.S. Coast Guards app for current boating conditions.
A live webcam of Silver Beach can be found at https://www.berriencounty.org/357/Beach-Cam