Friday, July 27, 2012

Updated Rip Current Survival Strategy


Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director of Public Relations, 708-903-0166
Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, 517-643-2553

Updated Rip Current Survival Strategy

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRPendorses the updated Rip Current Survival Strategy created by the Michigan Sea Grant titled, "Flip, Float, and Follow". [Similar to the fire safety technique, “Stop, Drop, and Roll” if you ever catch on fire.] 

How to use the “Flip, Float, Follow” Rip Current Survival Strategy

1.  FLIP:
Flip over onto your back and float.

2.  FLOAT:
A.   Float to keep your head above water.
B.   Float to calm yourself down from the panic and fear of drowning.
C.   Float to conserve your energy.

While you are floating, you are following the current. Follow the current to assess which way it is pulling you.Then swim perpendicular to the currents flow until you are out of it and then swim toward shore. If you are too tired to swim to shore, continue to float and signal someone on shore. Also, the waves may eventually bring you back to shore.

--As long as you are floating, you are alive.
--As long as you are struggling or fighting the current, you are drowning – Conserve your energy and do not do the Signs of Drowning.

“Flip, Float, and Follow,” was created by the Michigan Sea Grant.  It designed this new campaign to help people remember how to successfully escape a variety of dangerous currents such as rip currents, long-shore currents, and structural currents.

Like “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, a simple fire safety technique taught to children as a component of fire safety week to extinguish a fire on a person's clothes or hair, “Flip, Float and Follow" can be an effective psychological tool to focus on in order to avoid panic in a terrifying situation.

This public outreach campaign is the result of input from a variety of first responders and water safety groups that participated in the Great Lakes Water Safety Conference, sponsored by the Michigan Sea Grant in 2011.  Sea Grant's outreach professionals developed new educational materials that clearly communicate an important message: don't panic if caught in a dangerous current.


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) that tracks drowning statistics, teaches “Water Safety Surf Rescue” classes, and leads the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip current awareness campaign on the Great Lakes.

It has been selected to present at the 2nd International Rip Current Symposium Nov. 1st, 2012 in Sydney, Australia; the 2012 winner of the “Outstanding Service to the Great Lakes Community” award presented by the Dairyland Surf Classic; the 2011 “Lifesaver of the Year” award winner; and a presenter at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 9, 2012.

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