Saturday, July 9, 2011

Great Lakes - July 17, 2011 Surfboard Rescue Techniques class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              July 5, 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
The Second “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” Class
Launches July 17, in Frankfort, MI
Supporting a Summer-Long Rip Current Awareness Campaign

FRANKFORT, MI – In support of a Summer-long rip current awareness campaign, the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project’s “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class and the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip current awareness PSA campaign will be hosting its next training session Sunday, July 17, 2011, in Frankfort, MI for Great Lakes surfers and for professional water rescue personnel.

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. 

“There are hardly any lifeguards at beaches anymore,” said Bob Pratt, a former lifeguard and current fire marshal in East Lansing, MI. “We need people who can rescue when others are in danger, and surfers are able to safely travel to a dangerous area and assist those in distress.”

“Most drownings occur during moderate wave action (3’-6’) and surfers are likely to be in the area.  Someone has to be the missing link between those in danger and professional rescuers because it only takes a couple minutes to drown.  “This training is geared for surfers who are in a unique position to rescue people because they have a floatation device with them, but this class is also available to professional water rescue personnel,” Pratt added.

The class will teach surfers and professional water rescue personnel to:
  • Recognize the danger of the surf environment and keep 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 “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will be hosted in the Betsie Bay Inn’s “Algonquin” room, 231 Main Street, Frankfort, MI 49635, (231) 352-8090.  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.

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

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 – the Third Coast Ocean Force community project 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.

  • 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, Bob Beaton
Grand Haven, MI

  • Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…

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