When a yellow flag is posted, it means there may be waves of 2-4 feet with potentially hazardous swimming conditions.

“One of the most dangerous places to be on Lake Michigan is Holland State Park when the conditions present themselves,” said Holland Coast Guard Chief Adam Smart in a Sentinel article on May 31. “As soon as I got here, the word got out to me that it’s a dangerous spot. I’ve got two kids and I’d never let them out there on a red flag day.”

The break walls at Holland State Park are part of why the area is so dangerous for swimmers, Smart said. When there is a strong northwest wind, there can be both structural current and undercurrent from the break walls if the wind hits just right. No matter how strong a swimmer someone is, rip currents and structural currents can drag anyone underwater.