Tuesday, August 14, 2012

08/19 New Buffalo "Water Safety Surf Rescue" class

On Sunday, August 19, the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project will be hosting its “Water Safety Surf Rescue” class.  The class will be at 9:30 a.m. EDT, at Lions Pavilion Park, 101 Marquette Dr., New Buffalo, MI 49117

“The drowning numbers are astounding,” said Ryan Gerard, owner Third Coast Surf Shop in New Buffalo and St. Joseph, Michigan. “As more people enjoy these freshwater inland seas, it is imperative that the dangers associated with them are recognized and proper precautions are taken, especially when waves and rip currents are active.”

“The water safety and surf rescue techniques local surfers have been using for decades are taught in the classes,” Gerard added.  “It’s crucial to educate the public and save lives.”

After the New Buffalo class August 28, 2011, a boy was caught in a rip current and then rescued by class participant, Nick Rymut, and class instructor, Bob Pratt.  Because of this rescue and the work of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Bob Pratt was awarded the 2011 Lifesaver of the Year award presented by the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (Press Release and ABC interview).

The “Water Safety Surf Rescue” class is FREE and open to everyone; i.e. the general public, surfers, first responders, and professional water rescue personnel.  

The 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;
·         Recognize the “Signs of Drowning” – How to identify a person in trouble from within a crowd.
·         The Michigan Sea Grants “Flip, Float, and Follow” rip current survival strategy
·         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.

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