By Mary Chappell

Chicago (CBS) — The Chicago Park District announced Friday its plans to install life preserver equipment and increased signage at select sanctioned swimming locations prior to the 2022 beach season.

The program will aim to help mitigate the risks of water-related drownings and accidents, according to a press release from the Chicago Park District. Officials said the number of rings installed at each will depend on the size and configuration of the beach and the safety devices will be used in conjunction with an alarm system that will trigger alarms on a smartphone app used by lifeguards and security personnel.

The Park District will also increase signage at unauthorized swim locations and has said it will consider installing barriers at locations where swimming isn’t allowed. Officials said they also will begin a campaign to educate people on beach safety.

As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra has reported, Chicagoans have fought to get life rings along the lakefront for years. In August, 19-year-old Miguel Cisneros drowned in Lake Michigan off Pratt Pier — a tragedy his mother said could’ve been prevented had there been a life ring on the pier — igniting more cries from residents to get more safety devices along the lakefront.

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