It's only July and already we've heard about so many people drowning in Michigan this year, especially in the Great Lakes. How and why these accidents keep happening is unclear but one thing is for sure, we've already had more drownings this year compared to all of 2020.

So far there have been 34 drownings in the Great Lakes compared to 25 overall last year. 16 drownings alone happened in Lake Michigan. Just over the 4th of July weekend a man and his friend were walking along a sandbar when it dropped off and he drowned.

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David Benjamin, executive director of The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project:

If you're struggling in water over your head, your instinct is to fight to survive which you're going to exhaust yourself very quickly.

Instead of panicking and exhausting yourself, he recommends that you flip, float and follow.

Flip over on your back and you float, float with your head above water, calm yourself down from the panic of drowning, conserve your energy and then follow a safe path out of water.

That's the one thing I literally told my son to do while we were at the beach on Lake Superior recently. I told him that if he gets into a situation where he's struggling, just flip over onto his back. That can be a life-saving game-changer. Once you start struggling and then exhaust yourself, they say you have less than 60 seconds before you'll drown.

The number one thing you should do is avoid alcohol and drugs. I've noticed the times that I had alcohol in my system while I was trying to swim, it was so tough to do. I would get so exhausted so fast. I never drink and swim, unless I'm in a pool.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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