Thursday, March 15, 2012

Drownings up 83% over last year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 15, 2012

Contact:
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director and Public Relations, 708-903-0166
Bob Pratt, Executive Director and Water Safety Expert, 517-643-2553

Drownings up 83% over same time last year

Be hyper-vigilant around bodies of water this spring

Drowning reporting database coming soon

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces its current “2012 Great Lakes Drownings” statistics.  To date in 2012, it’s possible that 11 people have drowned.  That’s an 83% increase over the same date last year.  Overall since 2010, 172 people have drowned (74 in 2010; 87 in 2011, 11 in 2012).

HYPER-VIGILANCE WATER SAFETY
“Although the weather may be summerlike this weekend, the water is still dangerously cold,” said Bob Pratt, GLSRP executive director.  “The waters are still in the forty degree range, and it’s highly recommended that people don’t enter them.” 

According to the GLSRP, if you are boating, create a float plan, communicate that float plan to someone on land, and wear PFD’s.  In case someone falls overboard or off a pier, know the “1, 10, 1” rule of hypothermia”: 1 – COLD SHOCK – 1 minute to get your breathing under control before attempting to get out; 10 – COLD WATER INCAPACITATION – 10 minutes of meaningful movement before you run out of energy; 1 – HYPOTHERMIA – 1 hour before your heart stops.

DROWNING REPORTING DATABASE
 “We say that, it’s “possible” that eleven people have drowned to date in the Great Lakes because of the incomplete information available to the public pertaining to drowning reporting data,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director.  “We have four “John Doe’s” in our statistics because information is hard to get.  It can be frustrating when there is so little information available.” 

The Great Lakes consists of 9,402 miles of coast lines, eight states, five lakes, and two countries.  Each year over 60 million people year visit the United States and Canadian shores.  Drowning reporting requirements vary from country to country, state to state, and county to county.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project started tracking Great Lakes drowning statistics because no other agency has taken such leadership.  The GLSRP is on a mission to create a unified Great Lakes Drowning Reporting Database to gather information pertaining to drowning incidents to increase the accuracy of tracking Great Lakes drownings. 

This database (coming soon) will include information about the weather conditions, water conditions and the victim through an online questionnaire.  The questionnaire will include the date, location, time, name, age, ethnicity, language, hometown, swimming ability, air temperature, water temperature, wind direction, wind speed, wind gusts, wave height, warning flag color (if applicable), rip current related, and rip current warnings.

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The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is about saving lives.  It is a nonprofit corporation that is a Chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), the 2011 “Lifesaver of the Year” award winner, and presenter at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium.  The GLSRP tracks drowning statistics, teaches “Water Safety Surf Rescue” classes, and leads the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip current awareness campaign on the Great Lakes.


2012Great Lakes Drownings   
(11 as of March 15th)
(Info provided by the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project)

LAKE MICHIGAN:
1.      Sun.           01/08   John Doe                                 M-30s Chicago                      
2.      Tue.           01/24   Brittany Finley                        22-F     Oak Creek, WI           
3.      Sun.           02/05   John Doe                                 M-20s Chicago
4.      Fri.             03/02   Talmadge “Todd” Channell    35-M   Chicago                       ?
5.      Sun.           03/04   Philip Patnaude                       28-M   Chicago                       Fell in Harbor
6.      Mon.          03/05   Rasheed Mariano                    17-M   Waukegan, IL             Pier Jump
7.      Sat.          03/10   Peter Dougherty                      24-M   Port Washington, WI  Kayaking

LAKE ONTARIO:
8.      Sat.            01/21   J. Doe                                      ?-?       Boulevard Club
9.      Thur.          02/09   John Doe                                 M-47   Burloak Waterfront Park
10.  Sun.           02/26   J. Doe                                      ?-?       Queen’s Quay            
11.  Wed          02/29   Mathieu LeClair                     20-M   Kingston, Ont.                       

LINKS TO DATA
LAKE MICHIGAN
1.      Sun.           01/08   John Doe                                 M-30s Chicago                      

2.      Tue.           01/24   Brittany Finley                        22-F     Oak Creek, WI           
http://www.wisn.com/news/30288143/detail.html “body washed ashore”, “the body was in Lake Michigan”,

3.      Sun.           02/05   John Doe                                 M-50s Chicago

4.      Fri.             03/02   Talmadge “Todd” Channell    35-M   Chicago                       ?

5.      Sun.           03/04   Philip Patnaude                       28-M   Chicago                       Fell in Harbor

6.      Mon.          03/05   Rasheed Mariano                    17-M   Waukegan, IL             Pier Jump

7.      Sat.            03/10   Peter Dougherty                      24-M   Port Washington, WI  Kayaking

LAKE ONTARIO
8.      Sat.            01/21   J. Doe                                      ?-?       Boulevard Club

9.      Thur.          02/09   John Doe                                 M-47   Burloak Waterfront Park

10.  Sun.           02/26   J. Doe                                      ?-?       Queen’s Quay            

11.  Wed.         02/29   Mathieu LeClair                     20-M   Kingston, Ont.                       


2010 & 2011 Statistics

OTHER NEWS
  1. GLSRP Becomes Chapter of NDPA
  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. Surf’s up, but Matteson man wants drownings down
  6. Chasing the chilling waves — whenever they can
  7. Fire Marshal Retires - Takes Helm of Surf Rescue Project
  8. Bob Pratt Lifesaver Year Award - Top 10 Finalist
  9. Great Lakes drownings rise to 87 in 2011; a two-year total of 161
  10. Great Lakes Presenting at San Diego Symposium
  11. Co-Executive Director’s drowning experience turns into Rescue Project
  12. Video: Great Lakes surfers save drowning victims
  13. 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
  6. February 24, 2012 – Florida Rescue Brevard County, Florida
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