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Summertime Water Safety at the Beach: FLIP, FLOAT, FOLLOW

The beach is one of the most fun places to play during the summer! Lake Michigan provides miles of freshwater beaches for play and sport. Friends and families gather to enjoy the calm lake or jump in the wild waves. There are times when the wind picks up, the waves form quickly, and you can lose your footing and panic in the water. Local resources on the Great Lakes have gathered together to create the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP), a non profit corporation and chapter with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) focuses on promoting water safety and hazards of the surf environment.

You don't have to be a trained lifeguard to know and practice water safety techniques.

One of the classes offered is Drowning Survival Strategies. In this class, you learn how to reduce panic and float to safer waters when YOU get caught in a rip tide or undertow. Flip, Float, Follow is the catch phrase for the survival technique and is described below from the GLSRP website:

1. FLIP: Flip over onto your back and float.

2. FLOAT: A. Float to keep your head above water. B. Float to calm yourself down from the panic and fear of drowning. C. Float to conserve your energy.

3. FOLLOW: Follow the safest path to safety / out of the water.

Here's a graphic to show the path to safety.

But how do you spot signs of drowning in another swimmer?

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project provides the following diagram to help teach beach goers how to spot signs of drowning in another swimmer.

It's easier to spot signs of drowning when you know what to look for and you can learn to recognize the signs with additional resources and training. Whether you're watching out for your own family and friends or other beach goers, learning the signs of drowning can save a life and help make a beach day a great day! Additional water safety courses from GLSRP include: The Signs of Drowning, Basic Water Safety, Basic Water Rescue, Basic Water Resuscitation.

For more information about water safety classes and your local community contact:

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

Dave Benjamin, Executive Director of Public Relations, 708-903-0166

Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, 517-643-2553

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