City leaders in St. Joseph are hoping the north pier will be a little safer now that 12 life rings to help prevent drownings have been installed. City Manager John Hodgson tells WSJM News the rings come with throw bags and 90 foot ropes. A video explaining how to use the rings may be produced.
“Folks talk about throwing it like a Frisbee or throwing it like a discus, and that’s not actually a very good way to throw it,” Hodgson said. “You should grab it and kind of toss it underhand like a softball or a bowling ball.”
There will also be signage to warn folks about abusing the rings.
“It’s actually a crime to tamper with a lifesaving device,” Hodgson said. “It’s a misdemeanor if they simply tamper with it. If someone is injured through the absence of that lifesaving device, it could be a felony.”
Hodgson tells us the city did buy spares as well. For now, the St. Joseph Department of Public Safety is handling maintenance of the rings, although the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has offered to take on that role.