Life threatening currents, high waves expected at Lake Michigan beaches: weather service

Life threatening rip currents and towering waves are expected at Lake Michigan Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service issued a beach hazards statement for Cook, Lake and Porter counties about 4:15 a.m., warning of strong rip and structural currents and waves that could reach up to six feet.

Rip currents are most likely to occur at low spots or breaks in sandbars, and structural currents form along piers, the weather service said. Both can sweep people away into deeper water.

The warning lasts until 6 p.m. June 20, the weather service said. Anyone visiting beaches is advised to stay out of the water.