Detroit River is a 'speedway' and too dangerous for swimming, report says

Posted at 10:40 AM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 17:32:47-04

(WXYZ) — With water levels continuing to rise in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, it's too dangerous for swimming, the Windsor Port Authority said.

According to the Windsor Star, Windsor Port Authority Peter Berry said, "The Detroit River is a speedway right now. Going for a swim off your boat just to cool off or anything like that is way too dangerous."

The city and the port authority have also said that the water is much deeper than normal near the shoreline, it's colder than normal and it's moving much quicker. They are asking anyone near or on the water to use extra caution.

“You go for a swim in there, you’re not realizing you jump off the back of your boat to cool off because you’re hot on the river and you jump in there, you may not come back up,” Berry said to the Windsor Star. “It’s like a hand grabs hold of your feet and your legs, it grabs your body mass and will pull you down.”

According to Berry, the Detroit River normally runs at 2 1/2 knots, around 3 mph, but right now, it's running at 9-10 knots, around 11mph, according to the Star.

Last week, the city of Windsor issued a temporary 30-day buffer zone of 30 meters for all watercraft moving along the Windsor shoreline. That means motorized watercraft can't operate within 30 meters of shore unless they're coding.

“Historic high water levels have forced us to take extraordinary action to prevent on-shore damage to property along our waterfront” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Water levels are expected to continue to rise through August which means the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better”.