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Group donates life rings to help save lives along Lake Michigan

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RACINE (CBS 58) -- A group in Racine is taking the initiative to help prevent drownings in Lake Michigan.

The group, Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin, bought five life rings for the South Pier in Racine hoping someday they will save lives.

If someone falls into the rough waters of Lake Michigan, a nearby person can open up the cabinet and grab the life ring and throw it out to the person who needs to be rescued.

There is fifty feet of rope attached to it that allows it to be thrown out far.

The group raised the majority of the money to buy the life rings at their annual "Salmon-O-Rama."

The vice-president of Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin says the devices are critical to keep everyone safe near Lake Michigan.

"Especially this year, Lake Michigan is at an all-time high and I've witnessed big boats going by and their wakes washing up by the pier already without even any adverse weather conditions," Jim Poplawski said. 

Similar devices were set up this month in Kenosha as well, where several people have drowned over the last few summers.

In Port Washington recently, a device that looks like a traffic light was installed to tell people the risk of rip currents.

Green means the risk is low, yellow stands for moderate and red stands for a high risk.

Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin dedicated the five life rings to Racine Police Officer John Hetland, who was shot and killed earlier this week.

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