Saturday, August 27, 2011

Drowning Decreases - Rip current Rescues 60+

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  August 27, 2011

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Class Organizer & Media Relations

Drowning Stats Decrease from 2010 Pace
2011 Rip Current Rescue 60+

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project releases its current 2011 Drowning Statistics.  As of August 27, 2011 there have been 56 drownings in the Great Lakes.  By the same date 2010, there were 66.  This is a decrease of 10 over last year.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project would also like to acknowledge all those who were involved in the 60 plus publicized Lake Michigan rip current rescues that have occurred this summer (links below).

“This year could have been tragically worse this year than last,” said Dave Benjamin.  “There are 60 lives that continue today, but summer’s not over.”

“The wind forecast for tomorrow will produce rip currents over most of the lake, especially the coasts of southwest Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.  When in doubt, don’t go out.”



The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project’s "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class and "Third Coast Ocean Force" rip current awareness campaign continues tomorrow, Sunday, August 28, 9:30 a.m. EST at New Buffalo’s Lion’s Pavilion Park. 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 class is FREE and OPEN to the public.  Come on out for an informative water safety class and a fun day at the beach.  The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will teach participants how to recognize the danger of the surf environment; understand rip currents (i.e. how, where, and why rip currents occur); how to survive rips; to know the “Signs of Drowning”; and how to use a surfboard or other flotation device to rescue a person in distress or in a rip current.

In 2010 approximately 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents.  As of August 22, 2011, approximately 55 people have drowned.  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.

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.
--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.

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

  • Surfrider Foundation, Chicago Chapter, John Swiatowiec Chapter Chair
Chicago, IL

  • Great Lakes Surfer Magazine, Mike Killion
Chicago, IL

  • Great Lakes Board Company, Ian Jacobson, owner
Chicago, IL

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

  • Surf Grand Haven, Will Beaton
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 Holsinger

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

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

Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…

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

No comments:

Post a Comment