Those warning flags that fly on the beach to keep swimmers safe are getting a major tech upgrade at this Lake Michigan beach town.

Drownings in Lake Michigan hit a ten-year high in 2020, with more than 50 people losing their lives in the lake. Since 2018, at least twelve people have been swept off the pier in the Lake Michigan town of Frankfort, and three of those have died. The town is implementing a new warning system and upgrading technology to keep swimmers safe.

The weather can turn at any moment. It can create a safe environment to an unsafe environment in an instant. We just want to better educate our community and our guests and our visitors."

-Frankfort Superintendent Joshua Mills (9 & 10 News via US News & World Report)

Nearly all Lake Michigan beaches have no lifeguard on duty and "swim at your own risk" signs posted. You may also see different colored flags flying, depending on the weather, but what do they mean? While it's pretty easy to figure out that yellow means warning and red means danger, there are many others, which can be confusing. Besides, the idea of cloth flags is outdated in 2021.

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New lights will be installed at the beach entrance and the pier in Frankfort, Michigan, a small Lake Michigan summer town. (If you use your handy Michigan map, Frankfort is at about the second knuckle on your pinky finger.) These lights warn of the dangers of high winds and waves, and are updated using current weather data. The most important thing is that they can be changed almost immediately. No staff member has to go to the beach and run a new colored flag up the pole. It's 2021, it's about time.

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