Racine city, county officials examine safety at North Beach following multiple water rescues
"Even if you're an Olympic swimmer, you're not going to swim back to shore in one of those currents," said Racine County Dive Team Captain Bradley Friend.
Those currents took two kids' lives and put a 14-year-old girl in the hospital Monday night.
"It's not a place that the public should be swimming," Friend said.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling is calling on the city to hire more lifeguards, extend their on-duty hours and post more signage.
Three drownings in three days: Racine County officials are calling on the city to reimagine the lifeguard situation at Zoo Beach and North Beach. They’re asking for:— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) June 22, 2021
◾️Extended Lifeguard hours
They consider this a danger zone. @CBS58pic.twitter.com/VfolOgqBoB
"To have people that are trained on that beach, to have people ready to respond and at the ready, in my view, could have made a difference here," Schmaling said.
Mayor Cory Mason said lifeguards are fully staffed right now, but the city is looking to see where changes are needed.
"We're looking at if we can add more hours or add additional lifeguards. It is one of the few beaches left in the state of Wisconsin that has lifeguards on duty," Mason said. "Even with those lifeguards there, we need everybody to follow the rules and to stay in the areas that have lifeguards."
Alder Edwin Santiago said he's fast-tracking a proposal to find funding to hire those lifeguards and add signs.
Both the city and the county agree that closing the beach at this point isn't a solution.
"I don't know how you begin to shut down the beaches and effectively tell people they're not going to go in," Schmaling said.
Friend said if you are caught in a riptide, the best thing to do is stay calm and swim along the shore line.
The Racine County Dive Team is hosting an educational meeting about water safety on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.