Monday, July 23, 2012

Water Safety Class added Tom Blake Fest


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

Water Safety Class added

To Tom Blake Festival

Great Lakes, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project’s (GLSRP) “Water Safety Surf Rescue” class has been added to the Tom Blake Board Across the Bay Festival.  Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, will be delivering a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation during the Dinner and Awards Ceremony Saturday, July 28, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  On Sunday, July 29, the water session of the “Water Safety Surf Rescue” class will begin at 9:00 a.m.

The “Water Safety Surf Rescue” class will teach participants how to:
·         Recognize the danger of the surf environment keeping personal safety as THE primary responsibility
·         Understand rip currents; i.e. how, where, and why rip currents occur and how to survive rips;
·         Know the “Signs of Drowning” – How to identify a person in trouble from within a crowd.
·         Summon help and use a surfboard or other flotation device to rescue a person in distress or in a rip current
·         React when encountering swimmers who have suffered an injury or unconscious
·         Enroll in lifesaving, first aid and CPR training from accredited agencies.

The Tom Blake Board Across the Bay Race & Festival is a new event in Washburn that honors the world-class swimmer and surfing innovator who grew up in the Chequamegon Bay community.

The festival runs July 27-29 at Thompson’s West End Park and will feature races, instructional clinics, equipment demonstrations, surf-related films, prize drawings and a Hawaiian-themed dinner with a presentation about Tom Blake.

The festival’s proceeds will be used to pay for a bronze statue of Tom Blake in front of a classic longboard. The statue will welcome visitors to Washburn, and there will be information about historic and modern-day watersports on Lake Superior. Organizers hope to make the festival an annual event.

The festival will have races for stand-up paddleboards, prone paddleboards, surf ski and sea kayaks across Chequamegon Bay on on 17-mile or 8.5-mile courses., with various men’s and women’s divisions.

There also are outrigger canoe races, with solo, tandem, four-person and six-person divisions. A 1-mile race will be open to racers younger than 16; racers need to be at least 16 to take part in the 17- and 8.5-mile races.


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 Yearaward winner; and a presenter at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 9, 2012.

--When in doubt, don’t go out.  Know your limits and the limits of your friends and family at the beach.
--Designate Water Watchers (The Water Watcher Card) by Safe Kids USA
--Constant uninterrupted adult supervision of children; i.e. Keep children within arm’s reach – aka hands-on touch supervision
--Know the signs of Drowning
--Know the Michigan Sea Grant’s “Flip, Float, and Follow” rip current survival strategy
--Don’t jump off piers or break walls.
--Obey posted warning flags (Green, Yellow, Red)
--Swim at guarded beaches
--Never swimming alone or in unsupervised places. Teach children to always swim with a friend.
--Refraining from swimming beyond skill level

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