Monday, August 1, 2011

Great Lakes Proud partners with Surf Rescue Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  August 2, 2011

Dave Benjamin, Class Organizer 
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project                                             

Great Lakes Proud
Partners with the "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class
Sun., Aug. 7, Grand Haven, MI

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Great Lakes Proud is excited to announce that it will partner with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project for its "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class and "Third Coast Ocean Force" rip current awareness PSA campaign Sunday, August 7, 9:30 a.m. at Grand Haven State Park Pavilion.

“I cannot remember a summer where the Great Lakes did not play a vital role in my thrill seeking and fun,” said Austin Holsinger, Great Lakes Proud founder. “This class is a great opportunity for people who share a similar love for the Great Lakes and the importance of being prepared and ready.”

“I have traveled throughout the world yet never experienced anything quite as extraordinary as what surrounds us here in the Midwest,” Holsinger added.  “I am proud of Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region.”

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will teach participants how to recognize the danger of the surf environment; understand rip currents (i.e. how, where, and why rip currents occur); how to survive rips; to know the “Signs of Drowning”; and how to use a surfboard or other flotation device to rescue a person in distress or in a rip current.

Great Lakes Proud was created April 2011 and it retails 3” x 5” stickers, featuring the Great Lakes (Coming Soon: hats, t-shirts, and totes).  The stickers are an opportunity for people to display their Great Lakes pride as well as an opportunity to support the Great Lakes.  For every purchase, a percentage goes directly towards supporting the Great Lakes.  In its first four months of operation, it has raised $500 for groups that focus on water quality and invasive species.  Stickers are available at and are also for sale in over 30 outlets from Mackinac Island to Grand Haven, MI.


In 2010 approximately 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents.  The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is made up of Great Lakes surfers dedicated to reducing drowning incidents on the Great Lakes. Surfers have a long history of rescues along our coasts.  Surfers are often in the water when conditions are most dangerous: high surf and cold water. 

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project consists of two elements:
1. The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class;
2. The “Third Coast Ocean Force” Rip Current Awareness PSA Campaign.

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class is currently FREE and OPEN to the public – Friends, Family, Employees, Employers, Surfers, SUP’ers, Kayakers, Professional Water Rescue Personnel, Social Groups of People, etc.

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will teach participants how to:
--Recognize the danger of the surf environment keeping personal safety as THE primary responsibility – Identifying hazardous conditions
--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 Great Lakes are sometimes referred to as the “Third Coast” of the United States and the “Third Coast” can have "Ocean Force" rip currents during windy weather conditions.  Each Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will provide an opportunity to cause rip current awareness through the classroom as well as media opportunities.

  • Surfrider Foundation, Vince Deur & Ingrid Lindfors
Grand Haven, MI

  • Wet Mitten Surf Shop, Ben & John McNeil
301 N Harbor, Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 844-3388

  • No Quarter Surf Boards, Marty Karish
Grand Haven, MI

  • Great Lakes Proud, Austin Holsinger
  • The Great Lakes Surfing Association, Bob Beaton
            Grand Haven, MI

  • Third Coast Surf Shop, Ryan Gerard
St. Joseph and New Buffalo, MI

  • Beach Nut Surf Shop, Larry Bordine
1100 Main St., Frankfort, MI 49635

  • Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…

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