ArcelorMittal and the City of Michigan City are partnering to enhance lakefront water safety by providing much needed life-saving equipment in three critical locations at the lakefront and along Trail Creek.
Michigan City’s Lakefront Safety Committee, comprised of Michigan City first responders and representatives of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Coast Guard, will install 25 life rings through a $13,000 grant from ArcelorMittal.
“I would like to thank ArcelorMittal for their generous contribution toward improving the public health and safety along our Michigan City lakefront,” said Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer. “These monies will be going toward life-saving equipment and new informational signage. In addition, we are committed to a strong focus on public outreach and education, especially targeting our young people. As the Mayor of a lakefront community, I cannot stress it enough to our citizens and visitors, the respect that must be shown to any body of water, but in particular, the Great Lakes and Lake Michigan. I want everyone who visits our lakefront to make it back home safely to their loved ones.”
The impetus for the funding came as a result of three fatalities and a number of near-drownings of individuals near Washington Park beach area within the past year. One of those near-drownings involved four individuals who were rescued by Brian Sadowski, an ArcelorMittal employee and Michigan City native. Sadowski saved the two children and two adults in June, while walking the pier and noticing the victims fighting to free themselves from the frequent dangerous rip currents.
Hailed as a hero by members of the community, ArcelorMittal and the Lakefront Safety Committee, Sadowski was asked by his employer how the company could prevent and protect individuals from drowning in our lakefront waters. It was Sadowski who mentioned the need for the life-saving equipment and the company quickly agreed to assist.
“At ArcelorMittal, safety is paramount in everything we do, including shared vigilance which is watching out for the safety of others,” said John Mengel, vice president and general manager, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. “When learning of Brian’s involvement in saving the lives of those four people, I wasn’t surprised that he quickly took action. He is a great example of a caring individual who risked his own life, by heroically stepping in to save those in need. We thank and salute Brian for his unselfish efforts. We proudly make this donation on his behalf, so others may benefit from this life-saving equipment.”
The life rings, each with 100 feet of rope tethered to the ring for retrieval, will be placed along the East Pier, Millennium Plaza and the south side of the Franklin Street Bridge, as well as along the Trail Creek channel. Signage will also be added at these locations to increase water safety awareness about the potential dangers of water recreation.