Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Great Lakes to Present at San Diego Drowning Symposium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 29, 2012

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director and Public Relations

Great Lakes to Present in San Diego –
at NDPA’s 11th Annual Drowning Symposium

SAN DIEGO, CA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project will be presenting its "Water Safety Surf Rescue" class, “Third Coast Ocean Force” Rip Current awareness campaign, and tracking of drowning statistics at the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s 11th Annual Symposium, March 7 – 10, 2012 in San Diego, California at the Grand Hyatt Mission Bay, 1441 Quivera Rd. [The GLSRP members will be in San Diego, Monday, March 5th.]

“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 causing a lot of flash rips and ‘washing machine’ like conditions.”

The Great Lakes have a short swimming season (typically three months), yet has a high number of drownings each year (74 in 2010; 87 in 2011; 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, Great Lakes surfers, law enforcement, and water rescue professionals) with the common goal of saving lives. 

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.

“The symposium brings together experts from across the country, and across industries, to pursue one critical goal… to prevent drowning,” said Tiffaney Isaacson, President of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

“Networking is an important part of success in preventing drownings, and we have selected some of the best and brightest experts in the country with engaging presentations and exhibits.”

The 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    


  1. Surf’s up, but Matteson man wants number of drownings down Feature Story , Photo Gallery
  2. ‘Lifesaver of the Year’ Award Winner Assists Rescue on FL Vacation
  3. Bob Pratt Winner of the Lifesaver of the Year Award
  4. Video: Hero from New Buffalo beach rescue getting national honor – NDPA 'Lifesaver of the Year' Award
  5. Fire Marshal Retires - Takes Helm of Surf Rescue Project
  6. Bob Pratt Lifesaver Year Award - Top 10
  7. Great Lakes drownings rise to 87 in 2011; a two-year total of 161
  8. Great Lakes Presenting at San Diego Symposium
  9. Co-Executive Director’s drowning experience turns into Rescue Project
  10. Chasing the chilling waves — whenever they can
  11. Video: Great Lakes surfers save drowning victims
  12. Video: Surfers to the Rescue
PICTURES of “Water Safety Surf Rescue” Classes
  1. June 5, 2011 – St. Joseph, MI – Classroom and Water Session
  2. August 7, 2011 – Grand Haven, MI – Classroom and Water Session
  3. August 28, 2011 – New Buffalo, MI – Classroom and Water Session
  4. August 28, 2011 – New Buffalo, MI – Boy rescued from rip current
  5. September 18, 2011 – Whiting, IN – Classroom and Water Session

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