Concerned Resident

Big Rapids, MI

#1 Feb 22, 2007
So there has been many deaths not only with college students but in the youth of Big Rapids. After the tragety loss of 2 young girls over the summer and the attempts to save them hit close to home. So why is it that our children are still allowed to swim alone, sled near, and be unattended when by the mighty muskegon? Is it the lack of responsibility with the parents or the children? How many more have to be swollowed up by the muskegon before we get a reality check here in Big Rapids? Please tell me cause I am out of ideas! It is a painful but realization that our community has to face over and over. When is it enough?
Big Rapids Resident

Big Rapids, MI

#2 Feb 22, 2007
The responsibility has to be with the parents and it is important that we all use common sense. This is a river, it can be enjoyed but we need to respect the fact that it is a natural resource. We have to take precautions and become involved as a community in promoting the importance of water safety and encourage others to take precautions and use the river for fun too.
It is our responsibility as parents to ensure that our children are safe. At the present time there is a campaign in the local area for the River Project. This committee is creating a DVD which will be seen by college students, elementary and high school students throughout Mecosta and Osceola and Newaygo Counties. This video demonstrates the dangers and risks associated with the Muskegon River and our great lakes. It is important that we "RESPECT THE POWER OF THE RIVER" This river is dangerous, but this is also why it is important to use PFD devices that are approved by the US Coast Guard when in the River.
Since the undertow and the river bottom changes frequently and can change in a second's notice, it is important that parents take the time and students alike to join in the effort of making the natural resource we have with the Muskegon in Big Rapids a enjoyable place to go and enjoy the beauty of the river. Safety is always important. We are working on getting signs up on the river and promoting the steps and precautions that are involved with the Muskegon.
First and foremost, parents need to educate themselves and their children about the river and the benefits and dangers that are present in our area. This is not to say you can't or shouldn't go tubing, but you should wear a PFD go in a group and NEVER drink alcohol while tubing...if you are under the influence and your tube flips and you get caught in the undertow your life might be one more added to the numbers lost every year in the river.
Enough has to be enough when we as a community join together as a whole to make a change, a group of 12 are working on that change, but more are always welcome.
If you want more information contact Frank West at the Big Rapids Public Safety building.

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