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Fire department warns of dangers following rescue at Point Gratiot

The Dunkirk Fire Department is reminding the public to use caution after a swimmer was rescued Sunday afternoon at Point Gratiot.

Fire Chief Michael Edwards noted the increase in calls for assistance on or near the cliffs at Point Gratiot. He pointed to Sunday’s multi-agency response after it was first reported that a swimmer had gone missing.

The swimmer was later found clinging to the rocks and had to be rescued by being hoisted to safety.

“Tragedy was averted on Sunday but the area being used for recreation is off limits in the interest of public safety,” Edwards said. “This summer alone the Dunkirk Fire Department has responded to five incidents around the Point Cliffs. These incidents included swimmers in distress, an overturned kayak and a jet ski colliding with the rocks.”

The dangers of walking on the cliffs, jumping from, swimming or using water craft near them are numerous:

• the terrain is uneven, unstable and can be slippery to walk on;

• waves can throw a person or a vessel into the cliffs and the waves reverberate off of the cliff;

• waves hitting the cliff create a rip current;

• the depth of the water is unpredictable;

• calling for help is difficult because of the secluded area;

• rescue vessels can not access this area;

• rescue becomes very difficult requiring high angle rope operations

See Tuesday’s edition for complete coverage.

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