Friday, August 3, 2012

South & Grand Haven Water Safety Surf Rescue Classes


Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director and Public Relations, 708-903-0166
Adam DeBoer, South Haven Police Department, 616-886-8622
Ben McNeil, Wet Mitten Surf Shop, 616-844-3388
Marty Karish, No Quarter Surfboards, 616-502-9784

As drownings continue to increase at alarming rate

Water Safety Surf Rescue Classes – South Haven & Grand Haven

South Haven & Grand Haven, MI – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) is proud to announce that its “Water Safety Surf Rescue” class will be in South Haven Saturday, August 4 and Grand Haven Sunday, August 5.

Since 2010, 222 people have drowned in the Great Lakes (74 in 2010; 87 in 2011).  To date in 2012, 61 people have drowned

“The Police Department has always put a lot of importance into water safety,” said Adam DeBoer, South Haven Police Officer.  “All vehicles in the department have water rescue equipment and all personnel have been trained in water rescue.  We are excited to have the surf rescue class provide additional safety training for the people of South Haven and the surrounding communities.”

“It's essential that everyone knows how to stay safe and help keep those around them safe while enjoying what the beaches have to offer," said Ben McNeil, co-owner of Wet Mitten Surf Shop.  It's maddening to think how many of these cases could have been avoided if the victims or those who tried to save them had been provided with basic knowledge of how to recognize and avoid dangerous water conditions, or how to identify a distressed swimmer and assist them.”

“Water safety should be treated the same as ‘look both way's before crossing the street,’” said Marty Karish of No Quarter Surfboards.  “I don't just run into the water before I see what's going on.  The surf rescue class shares its knowledge and understanding of what really goes on in the lakes.  It’s invaluable information for anyone who steps into the lake.”

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.   To RSVP contact Dave Benjamin at 708-903-0166.

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; How to survive rips;
·         Know the “Signs of Drowning” – How to identify a person in trouble from within a crowd.
·         Summon help
·         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
·         React to an unconscious victim
·         Enroll in lifesaving, first aid and CPR training from accredited agencies.

The South Haven Classroom Session will meet at Lake Michigan College, South Haven Campus, 125 Veterans Blvd., and the Water Session will be at South Haven Beach.
9:30 a.m. EDT: Meet-n-Greet
10:00 a.m. EDT: Classroom Session Begins
11:15 a.m. EDT: Water Session

The Grand Haven Classroom Session and Water Session will meet at the Grand Haven State Park Pavilion, 1001 Harbor Drive.
9:30 a.m. EDT: Meet-n-Greet
10:00 a.m. EDT: Classroom Session Begins
11:15 a.m. EDT: Water Session
To RSVP contact Dave Benjamin at 708-903-0166.


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.

--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
--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
--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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  2. Nice! Seeing the sun and the sea makes me realize that the worst of winter is, indeed, behind us. You seem to have had a really enjoyable time. I think surfing is one of the best ways to bond as a family, especially if you have teenagers. Not only are you spending time with them, they also gain confidence, as well as other positive traits from engaging in sports.

    Costa Mesa Surfing Instruction Children