Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Surf Magazine Partners Rescue Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  August 24, 2011

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Class Organizer & Media Relations

Great Lakes Surfer Magazine
 Partners with the "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class

CHICAGO, IL & NEW BUFFALO, MI – Great Lakes Surfer Magazine announces its partnership with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project for the "Surfboard Rescue Techniques" class and "Third Coast Ocean Force" rip current awareness campaign Sunday, August 28, 9:30 a.m. EST at New Buffalo’s, Lions Pavilion Park.

“It’s imperative that more people around the Great Lakes gain knowledge and experience on drownings and rescues,” said Mike Killion, Great Lakes Surfer magazine founder and CEO.  “It's sad that people may die on the same day we find joy and fun riding the Great Lakes.”

According to Killion, rip currents are a surfer’s friend and can be a swimmer’s nightmare.  Rip currents can carry surfers out past the breaking waves to the line up without wasting much energy, while rip currents can exhaust inexperienced surf swimmers to death.  

Once while swimming in Ecuador, Killion was caught in a rip current.

“Being aware that you’re in a rip current is always the first thing,” Killion added.  “If you’re swimming toward shore and making no headway, you’re in a rip. I turned parallel to the beach and was out in no time.  Projects like the surf rescue class can make a positive impact and provide life lessons for all to benefit from.”

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.

The “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class is FREE and OPEN to the public.  Feel free to invite your friends, family, and water enthusiasts (Surfers, SUP’ers, Kayakers, Professional Water Rescue Personnel) for an informative water safety class and a fun day at the beach.

Founded in 2008, Great Lakes Surfer Magazine’s mission is dedicated to keeping the stoke on the Great Lakes going.  Each edition is created by surfers for surfers.  Currently the magazine is published annually, but plans are in the works to increase publication to quarterly. Online versions of past issues can be purchased at  More information can be found on the FaceBook page:!/pages/Great-Lakes-Surfer-Magazine/269100950592 or 847-337-9385.

“I wanted to take the surf scene into our own hands and mold it for ourselves. I wanted to make something professional and profound. Something that could be cherished and looked back on like our memories of the surf sessions we hold so close to our hearts,” Mike Killion, founder and CEO. 

The fourth “Surfboard Rescue Techniques” class will be hosted Sunday, August 28 at the Lions Pavilion Park, New Buffalo, MI.  There will be a Meet-n-Greet at 9:30 a.m.; Classroom Session for assessing surf conditions, rip current education, beach safety, rescue techniques, 10:00 a.m.; and a Water Session to practice hands-on surf rescue techniques at 11:15 a.m.

In 2010 approximately 74 people drowned in the Great Lakes primarily due to rip currents.  As of August 22, 2011, approximately 55 people have drowned.  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.

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

  • Surfrider Foundation, Chicago Chapter, John Swiatowiec Chapter Chair
Chicago, IL

  • Great Lakes Surfer Magazine, Mike Killion
Chicago, IL

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

  • Surf Grand Haven, Will Beaton
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

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

Additional partners and sponsors coming soon…

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