SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Communities along Lake Michigan’s shoreline saw high winds and big waves for much of Thursday.

Some of the biggest waves were in South Haven, drawing dozens of kite surfers and spectators to experience them firsthand.

The beaches in the area were under a red flag warning — an advisory to stay out of the water — and city leaders were reminding people to stay off the pier. Kate Hosier, the assistant city manager and harbor master, said it is important for everyone visiting the shore to keep their distance.

“It’s very dangerous conditions. People should not be walking on any structure. It doesn’t take very much water to sweep people away,” Hosier said.

Hosier said the city brought in pieces of concrete to try and break up the waves and protect the surrounding infrastructure.

Ethan Pulka, has been coming to South Haven for years, was surprised Thursday by the high water levels along with the waves.

“I’ve seen the waves crash over the lighthouse like it has but not to this extent. This is amazing,” Pulka said.

Jim Quinn with South Haven Area Emergency Services says his department has not had to make a water rescue in recent years and hopes people listen to the warnings.

“Just watch your surroundings, watch the water. Just be conscious of what you’re doing,” Quinn said.

People attending Harbor Fest this weekend will see near record high water levels throughout the area.