A bill proposed by an Illinois state representative would require that life rings be placed along Lake Michigan in Illinois in an effort to prevent drownings.
House Bill 4165, also called the Lake Michigan Rescue Equipment Act, was filed in October by Illinois Rep. Kelly Cassidy.
Earlier this month, the bill was assigned to the Human Services Committee, which on Wednesday recommended that the bill be sent to the full house for a vote.
The bill states that the owner of a pier or drop-off on Lake Michigan will be required to install public rescue equipment, including life ring buoys, on each of the owner’s piers and drop-offs.
That includes beaches and other access points.
The bill also states public rescue equipment should be installed in all high-incident drowning areas.
Local governments that own a pier or drop-off on Lake Michigan would in addition be required to track both fatal and non-fatal drownings and report them to the health department.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, a non-profit organization, said they recorded at least 98 drownings in 2021 on the Great Lakes.
The most recent fatal drowning reported on Lake Michigan in Lake County was at the end of December.
A passerby called 911 after spotting a body floating in Lake Michigan near the Waukegan Harbor on December 26.
The body was identified as Adan Cantero, 64, of Park City. An autopsy showed Cantero’s death was consistent with drowning.