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Outreach group offers and advocates for water safety, especially for the Great Lakes

NOW: Outreach group offers and advocates for water safety, especially for the Great Lakes

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NEW BUFFALO, Mich – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project held a meeting Wednesday evening to offer water safety tips.  

According to the group deaths at the Great Lakes are rising with 2018 being the deadliest year on record with 117 deaths due to drowning, and 18 so-far in 2019

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project Executive Director and near drowning survivor Dave Benjamin says there are simple safety tips that could help save lives. 

“If someone is struggling in water over their head what we advocate is that they flip, float and follow flip over on their back float to keep their head above water and calm themselves down from a panic conserve their energy and then follow a safe path out of the water,” Benjamin said.  

The event saw local lifeguards, community members, and first responders attend.

“I’ve been involved in a couple of attempted life rescues of some children that were actively drowning unfortunately there were no saves but the information that was provided tonight could give us some insight into some things maybe we could’ve done differently,” New Buffalo Police Officer Michael Cluster said.  

The organization hopes more water safety classes are taught to help turn the stubbornly high drowning numbers at the Great Lakes around. 

“What we would like to see is a water safety school curriculum we look at schools today there’s fire drills tornado drills school shooter drills even earthquake drills in many states including Illinois and Indiana but very little water safety education that’s something we need to elevate water safety education to the standards of those other safety programs,” Benjamin said. 

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