Contact:The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director & Public Relations, 708-903-0166
Bob Pratt, Executive Director, 517-643-2553
The Great Lakes Representing in San Diego
Surf Rescue Project to Present at 11th Annual Symposium
GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is excited and proud to announce that it will be presenting its "Water Safety Surf Rescue" class at the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s 11th Annual Symposium, March 7 – 10, 2012 in San Diego, California.
“Presenting allows us to bring the issues unique to the Great Lakes to a national forum,” said Bob Pratt, Surf Rescue Class Instructor. “Our rip currents are different; they are caused by short fetch windswells, and our piers are solid structures that exacerbate the rip current problem.”
The Great Lakes have a short swimming season (typically three months), yet has a high number of drownings each year (87 in 2011; 74 in 2010; a two-year total of 161).
“Addressing these challenges at the symposium may result in greater interest by researchers and may also result in expanded funding,” Pratt added. “The ultimate goal is and will always be the prevention of drowning by increased education and a culture of respect for the power of the Lakes.”
“We will showcase the broad range of efforts taking place in the Great Lakes region. While the region may be struggling economically, volunteer and non-profit groups have stepped in to fill voids caused by a lack of lifeguards and cuts to public safety and education.”
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project believes its class can serve as a national model bringing diverse groups of people together (the general public, surfers, law enforcement, and water rescue professionals) with the common goal of saving lives.
The first “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class for 2012 is slated for Chicago the weekend of June 2-3 in coordination with National Rip Current Awareness week.
The class teaches 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.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL DROWNING PREVENTION ALLIANCEThe National Drowning Prevention Alliance is a volunteer-driven 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 2004. NDPA members are dedicated to preventing drowning for all age groups in all bodies of water through public education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. The public is invited to join by visiting www.ndpa.org.