FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 15, 2011
Dave Benjamin, Class Organizer & Media Relations
Bob Pratt, Class Instructor, Fire Marshal, Water Safety Expert
The Fourth “Surf Rescue” Class
Sun., Aug. 28, in New Buffalo
NEW BUFFALO, MI – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project will be hosting its fourth “Surf Rescue” class Sunday, August 28, 2011, in New Buffalo, MI in support of saving lives and its summer-long “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip current awareness campaign.
The “Surf Rescue” 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. As of August 15, 2011, there have been 55 Great Lakes drownings. The “Surf Rescue” class is about saving lives and rip current awareness. If we have a warm fall, some people may continue to swim in the Great Lakes into late September/early October. How many drownings do we want to prevent? All of them.
“This training was originally geared for surfers and professional water rescue personnel, but the class has so much valuable water safety information it has been opened up to the general 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 fourth “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will be hosted Sunday, August 28 at the Lions Pavilion Park, New Buffalo, MI. There will be a Meet-n-Greet at 9:30 a.m.; Classroom Session for assessing surf conditions, rip current education, beach safety, rescue techniques, 10:00 a.m.; and a Water Session to practice hands-on surf rescue techniques at 11:15 a.m.
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.
NOTE: Participants can attend the Classroom Session and do not have to attend the Water Session.
ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES SURF RESCUE PROJECT
In 2010 approximately 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents. As of August 15, 2011, drownings are up to 55. 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.
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.
1. “SURFBOARD RESCUE TECHNIQUES” CLASS
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.
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.
--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.
2. “THIRD COAST OCEAN FORCE” RIP CURRENT PSA
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.
IN PARTNERSHIP OR SPONSORSHIP WITH:
- Third Coast Surf Shop, Ryan Gerard
St. Joseph and New Buffalo, MI
- Great Lake Surfer Magazine
- Surfrider Foundation, Great Lakes Chapter, Vince Deur & Ingrid Lindfors
Grand Haven, MI
- The Great Lakes Surfing Association, Bob Beaton
Grand Haven, MI
- Wet Mitten Surf Shop, Ben & John McNeil
301 N Harbor, Grand Haven, MI 49417
- No Quarter Surf Boards, Marty Karish
Grand Haven, MI
- Great Lakes Proud, Austin Holsinger
- Beach Nut Surf Shop, Larry Bordine
1100 Main St., Frankfort, MI 49635
- Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…