FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 6, 2012
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director and Public Relations, 708-903-0166
Nick Rymut, Lockport Fire Department, 630-746-3491
Fire Chief David Skoryi, Lockport Fire Department, (815) 838-3287
Lockport Firefighter Instrumental
with Lifesaver of the Year Award
LOCKPORT, IL – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project acknowledges Lockport firefighter, Nick Rymut, for his role in August 28 rip current rescue in New Buffalo, MI.
The rescue contributed to the “Lifesaver of the Year” Award for Bob Pratt of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project presented by the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the USA Swimming Foundation.
“I never really look for notoriety for things of this nature,” said Rymut. “I’m happy for what this can do for the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project and glad that Bob is recognized for all of his amazing efforts.”
On January 21, Rymut was presented with a Medal of Commendation at the Lockport Fire Department annual awards banquet.
“Nick is a rescue minded person,” said Lockport Fire Chief, David Skoryi. “I’m not surprised that he would take the surf rescue class and get right to work putting it to use rescuing someone. He’s a young sharp kid.”
THE SURF RESCUE
On August 28 approximately 30 minutes after the “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class in New Buffalo, MI, Bob Pratt and one of his class participants, Nick Rymut, rescued a boy drowning in a rip current. (Nick made the initial contact with the boy and Bob assisted. There’s links to pictures of the New Buffalo rescue and surf rescue class, and TV news coverage of the Grand Haven class.)
Nick, a firefighter and paramedic, for the Lockport Township Fire Department in Illinois was catching some surf after the class and immediately jumped into action when he saw the boy caught in the rip current.
The boy was displaying the signs of drowning in the thick surf – facing shore, mouth at water level, a terrified look in his face, and ‘climbing the ladder’ motion in the water.
Bob was standing on shore near a lifeguard stand speaking with a lifeguard and New Buffalo police officers when he saw the boy displaying the signs too. He then sprinted into the water to assist.
THE LIFESAVER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The nomination for the “Lifesaver of the Year” award for the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project's, Bob Pratt, was based on the rip current rescue in New Buffalo August 28 and the GLSRP’s 2011 tracking of Great Lakes drowning statistics, six “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” classes, and rip current awareness campaign along the coast of Lake Michigan
Last year six surf rescue classes were taught to the general public, lifeguards, police officers, fire fighters, water rescue teams and dive team members. A member of the U.S. Coast Guard even attended the July 17 class in Frankfort, MI.
“I'm truly honored,” said Bob Pratt, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. “I really consider this as a team award, the result of our team effort.”
PICTURES of 2011 “Water Safety Surf Rescue” Classes
- June 5, 2011 – St. Joseph, MI – Classroom and Water Session
- August 7, 2011 – Grand Haven, MI – Classroom and Water Session
- August 28, 2011 – New Buffalo, MI – Classroom and Water Session
- August 28, 2011 – New Buffalo, MI – Boy rescued from rip current
- September 18, 2011 – Whiting, IN – Classroom and Water Session
- Bob Pratt Winner of the Lifesaver of the Year Award
- Fire Marshal Retires - Takes Helm of Surf Rescue Project
- Bob Pratt Lifesaver Year Award - Top 10
- Great Lakes drownings rise to 87 in 2011; a two-year total of 161
- Great Lakes Representing in San Diego Symposium
- About the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
- Dave’s Drowning Experience
- The GLSRP’s Bob Pratt wins 2011 “Lifesaver of the Year” Award
- The GLSRP will be presenting its work at the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 7 – 10