Good tips from Michigan Sea Grant on how to stay safe in the waves of the Great Lakes: Water Safety and Rip Currents. I would add just a few additional tips for staying safe in "rip tides" or "rip currents." -
1. Teach kids to swim in the Great Lakes. Swimming pools are good for perfecting strokes and dives, but there's no substitute for first-hand knowledge of how your lakes behave. All bodies of water move in unique patterns and it can take a lifetime to get to know your lake.
2. Respect the water. The Great Lakes are powerful. Enjoy at your own risk, and know when you've reached the point of exhaustion.
3. If you're not a strong swimmer, be careful of the waves, and don't let your kids in the water if you're not capable of saving them yourself.
4. If there's violent waves, swim with a partner and keep an eye on fellow swimmers. Preparation and responsible swimming saves lives.