Saturday, July 9, 2011

Great Lakes - Betsie Bay to Host Surfboard Rescue Classroom July 17, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              July 6, 2011

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

Betsie Bay Inn to Host Classroom Session of
The Second "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class

FRANKFORT, MI – The Betsie Bay Inn is excited to announce that it will be the next classroom host of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project's "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class and "Third Coast Ocean Force" rip current awareness public service announcement campaign.

“This class is absolutely necessary,” said Leslie Perkins, Betsie Bay Inn owner. “Many young people do not know what a rip current is or how strong rips can be.”

And Perkins, a Scotland native, speaks from personal experience.  Scotland’s rip currents along its jagged coast are severe and violent and considered some of the strongest in the world.

“Rips can occur in a split second and many people on the beach watching don’t know what to do to help,” Perkins added.

The class will teach surfers and professional water rescue personnel to:
  • Recognize the danger of the surf environment keeping personal safety as THE primary responsibility
  • Identify hazardous conditions – Understanding how, where, and why rip currents occur
  • Identify a person in trouble from within a crowd
  • Summon help
  • Use a surfboard or boogie board to rescue a person in distress or in a rip current
  • Rescue a swimmer in distress or in a rip current around a jetty or pier
  • How to react when encountering swimmers who have suffered an injury
  • How to react to an unconscious victim
  • Encouraging surfers to enroll in lifesaving, first aid and CPR training from accredited agencies.

The Betsie Bay Inn is located at 231 Main Street in Frankfort, Michigan, amongst numerous fine shops, galleries, restaurants, and just mere footsteps from gorgeous Lake Michigan's sandy beachfront and marinas.  (  

This historic part of downtown Frankfort has been lovingly restored by its proud new owners, Geoff and Lesley Perkins. With close attention to detail and tireless devotion to high quality, The Betsie Bay Inn and Restaurant is fresh, vibrant, welcoming, and comfortable.  And the Inn's kitchen will be open for Breakfast at 7 a.m. for those who want a hearty breakfast before the class.

[NOTE:  Additional class dates are being finalized for Grand Haven and New Buffalo, Michigan.  We are also in discussion to bring this class to Michigan City, IN; Chicago; Milwaukee and Sheboygan, WI; Duluth, MN (Lake Superior); and cities around Lake Erie.  Details coming soon…]


  • The Betsie Bay Inn, Lesley Perkins, Owner
231 Main Street, Frankfort, Michigan 49635

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

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

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

  • The Great Lakes Surfing Association
Grand Haven, MI

  • Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…

Created by Bob Pratt, 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.  As surfers we are often in the water when conditions are most dangerous: high surf and cold water. By educating surfers to the dangers of RIP currents and hypothermia we can reduce the likelihood of them becoming victims but more importantly, by educating them to use their surfboard as a rescue tool, more lives can be saved.!/pages/Great-Lakes-Surf-Rescue-Project/120501018657?sk=info

The Third Coast Ocean Force community project was created because the Great Lakes are referred to as the “Third Coast” of the United States and the “Third Coast” can have “Ocean Force” rip currents during windy weather conditions – It was created to:
  • Support the existence of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project’s efforts to educate surfers and other water rescue personnel to use surfboards as lifesaving devices;
  • Encourage lake surfers to obtain CPR Certificates and Life Guard Certificates;
  • Publicize instances where lake surfers or water rescue personnel rescued swimmers from rip currents/drowning;
  • Support a summer-long rip current awareness public relations campaign.

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