Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aug. 7 Grand Haven Surf Rescue Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  August 1, 2011

Dave Benjamin, Class Organizer                    Bob Pratt - Surfboard Rescue Techniques Instructor
708-903-0166                                              Fire Marshal & Water Rescue Expert                                  East Lansing, MI               517-256-4600

On the Keel of Coast Guard Week

The Third “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” Class

Sun., Aug. 7, Grand Haven, MI

GRAND HAVEN, MI – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project will be hosting its third “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class on the last day of the 87th Annual Coast Guard Festival Sunday, August 7, 2011, in Grand Haven, MI in support of its summer-long “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip current awareness PSA campaign.

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class is FREE and OPEN to the public.  Feel free to invite your friends, family, and water enthusiasts (Surfers, SUP’ers, Kayakers, Professional Water Rescue Personnel) for an informative water safety class and a fun day at the beach.

In 2010, 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents.  The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class is about saving lives and rip current awareness.  To date, there have been 39 Great Lakes drownings in 2011.

“This training was geared for surfers and professional water rescue personnel who are in a unique position to rescue people because they have a floatation device with them, but the class has now been opened up to the public,” said Bob Pratt, a former lifeguard and current fire marshal in East Lansing, MI.

“There are hardly any lifeguards at beaches anymore,” Pratt added. “Most drownings occur during moderate wave action (2’-6’), and every beach goer has to be vigilant with their friends and families.”

The third “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will be hosted Sunday, August 7 in the Grand Haven State Park Pavilion, Grand Haven, MI 49635.  There will be a meet and greet at 9:30 a.m., classroom session, 10:00 a.m., and water session at 11:15 a.m.

TAGS:  Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, Rip Current, Surf, Surfing, Rescue, drowning, Third Coast,


In 2010 approximately 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents.  The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is made up of Great Lakes surfers dedicated to reducing drowning incidents on the Great Lakes. Surfers have a long history of rescues along our coasts.  Surfers are often in the water when conditions are most dangerous: high surf and cold water.!/pages/Great-Lakes-Surf-Rescue-Project/120501018657?sk=info

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project consists of two elements:
1. The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class;
2. The “Third Coast Ocean Force” Rip Current Awareness PSA Campaign.

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class is currently FREE and OPEN to the public – Friends, Family, Employees, Employers, Surfers, SUP’ers, Kayakers, Professional Water Rescue Personnel, Social Groups of People, etc.  Event Page:!/home.php?sk=group_129564050452987

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will teach participants how to:
--Recognize the danger of the surf environment keeping personal safety as THE primary responsibility – Identifying hazardous conditions
--Understand rip currents; i.e. how, where, and why rip currents occur; How to survive rips;
--Know the “Signs of Drowning” – How to identify a person in trouble from within a crowd.
--Summon help
--Use a surfboard or other flotation device to rescue a person in distress or in a rip current
--React when encountering swimmers who have suffered an injury
--React to an unconscious victim
--Enroll in lifesaving, first aid and CPR training from accredited agencies.

The Great Lakes are sometimes referred to as the “Third Coast” of the United States and the “Third Coast” can have "Ocean Force" rip currents during windy weather conditions.  Each Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will provide an opportunity to cause rip current awareness through the classroom as well as media opportunities.

  • Surfrider Foundation, Vince Deur & Ingrid Lindfors
Grand Haven, MI

  • Wet Mitten Surf Shop, Ben & John McNeil
301 N Harbor, Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 844-3388

  • No Quarter Surf Boards, Marty Karish
Grand Haven, MI

  • Great Lakes Proud, Austin

  • The Great Lakes Surfing Association, Bob Beaton
Grand Haven, MI

  • Third Coast Surf Shop, Ryan Gerard, Owner
St. Joseph and New Buffalo, MI

  • Beach Nut Surf Shop, Larry Bordine, Owner
1100 Main St., Frankfort, MI 49635

  • Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…

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