Great Lakes Surf Project seeks to flatten the curve of drownings
May 26, 2020 02:50PM
By Alana Hadadean of CKLW Radio - May 23rd 2020
As Coronavirus cabin fever mixes with summer excitment, many people want to get out and jump in the pool or lake.
“This summer we could see the perfect storm for drownings in the Great Lakes region.” said Dave Benjamin, executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. “Many public pools across the Great Lakes region may be closed for the summer or have delayed openings, which means that many more people will be going to the beach.”
Since 2010, The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) has tracked over 843 Great Lakes drownings.
The not-for-profit group says drowning numbers will go down as more people, especially children, are educated about the many aspects of water safety.
The project wants everyone to learn the drowning survival technique; ‘flip, float and follow‘.
Executive director of education, Bob Pratt says it’s like the ‘stop, drop and roll‘ of water safety. “It gives kids something to focus on if they are struggling in the water. Flip over onto their back so they can breath when they want to, float to calm themselves down, float to conserve their energy and then follow a safe course back to safety. If we can just control that panic and get people to calm down, they’re half way to being saved.”