INDIANAPOLIS—The Senate Natural Resources Committee passed Senate Bill 253, a bill to provide emergency rescue equipment along Lake Michigan, unanimously out of committee today. State Senator Rodney Pol Jr. (D-Chesterton) released the following statement: 

“I am incredibly grateful to the chair of Natural Resources and 2nd author on the bill, Senator Sue Glick (R-LaGrange), for hearing this bill. I have been fighting for this issue since I joined the legislature. This bill, which is a group effort with community leaders and has tons of bipartisan support, will provide life-saving equipment available for all of our beach visitors and members of the public around Lake Michigan.  

“Drowning is, unfortunately, a prevalent issue in my community. In 2023 alone, there have been 39 deaths due to drowning in Lake Michigan. By adding an easily accessible floatation device or life ring to the beaches, any average beach goer could help save a life. Precious seconds matter when a person gets caught in a rip current or loses the ability to swim. Lake Michigan, one of the most beautiful parts of the state, can be very dangerous.  

“So many people today have fire safety training or training with AEDs, but many leave out water safety. Providing lifesaving equipment at beaches would be the same as a fire extinguisher or AED. Let’s give our beach goers every tool possible to make sure their nice day at the beach does not turn into a tragedy. 

“Thank you to Senator Sue Glick, my co-authors, The Great Lakes Surf & Rescue Project, and everyone else that has helped us get this bill moving.”