Winner of the NDPA's 2012
      "Lifesaver of the Year" Award
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Flip, Float, Follow Heading to Port Washington

April 5th, 2013 by

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
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
www.GLSRP.org

GLSRP Bringing “Flip, Float, and Follow” to Port Washington, WI 

An effective psychological tool to avoid panic in a terrifying situation

 Great Lakes, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) will continue to acknowledge and endorse the Michigan Sea Grant’s  “Flip, Float, and Follow” rip current survival campaign in its 2013 “Water Safety Surf Rescue” classes.  It will be presenting its version of Flip, Float, and Follow April 17th in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

The Port Washington Waterfront Safety Advisory Committee in conjunction with the Greater Port Washington Kiwanis Club is organizing two GLSRP presentations.  One will be at the high school and the other will be at the Port Washington-Saukville School District Aquatic Center at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

The Waterfront Safety Advisory Committee was created by a city mourning the Labor Day weekend drowning of teenager Tyler Buczek.  The beach safety measures intend to prevent a repeat of the tragedy that broke the collective heart of the community.

The presentations will also be part of the Kiwanis Club’s ‘Week of the Young Child’ program.  Although the club’s ‘Week of the Young Child’ is typically geared toward kids between the ages of 4 and 9, the surf rescue program is open to people of all ages and will be of particular value to middle and high school-age youths because they are the ones most likely to frequent beaches without adult supervision, said Beckie Perez, who is also a Kiwanis Club member.

“An ordered task like Flip, Float, and Follow can be an effective psychological tool that can be focused on in order to avoid panic in a terrifying situation,” said David Benjamin, GLSRP executive director.

“It is critical to understand what it means to flip, float and follow,” said Elizabeth LaPorte, Michigan Sea Grant’s Communication and Education Services Director.  “The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project’s educational efforts will clearly demonstrate for the public how to survive a dangerous current.”

According to LaPorte, the Michigan Sea Grant’s “flip, float and follow” public outreach campaign is the result of input from a variety of first responders and water safety groups that participated in the Great Lakes Water Safety Conference, sponsored by Michigan Sea Grant in 2011.

How to use the Michigan Sea Grant’s “Flip, Float, and Follow” Rip Current Survival Strategy – If you are ever caught in a rip current or other Dangerous Currents:
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:
While you are floating, you are already following the current. Follow the current to assess which way it is pulling you. Then swim perpendicular to the currents flow until you are out of it and then swim toward shore. If you are too tired to swim to shore, continue to float and signal someone on shore for help. Also, the waves may eventually bring you back to shore.  

REMEMBER:
–As long as you are floating, you are alive (*cold water hypothermia may set in within one hour, so know the 1-10-1 Rule of Hypothermia, especially in spring, fall, and winter.).
–As long as you are struggling or fighting the current, you are drowning – Conserve your energy and do not do the Signs of Drowning.  If you are too tired to swim to shore, continue floating and signal for help

“And the old rip current survival strategy, ‘Don’t panic swim parallel to shore’, may not always work. ‘Don’t panic’ is not a helpful instruction to alleviate panic, and swimming parallel may not always work because longshore currents run parallel to shore and structural currents run parallel to the structures (piers, jetties, and rock walls). It’s best to assess which way the current is pulling you before your risk swimming against it.”

Junior Ambassador, Juliette Benjamin, shares her knowledge of Flip, Float, and follow: http://www.abc57.com/news/​local/van-buren/​Preventing-Summer-Drownings–15​5889485.html

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 The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is about saving lives. It is a nonprofit corporation that is a Chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) that tracks drowning statistics and teaches “Water Safety Surf Rescue” classes, and leads the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip current awareness campaign on the Great Lakes. Become a member of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

 The GLSRP presented at the NDPA’s 12th Annual Symposium, March 14, 2013, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It presented at the 2nd International Rip Current Symposium Nov. 1st, 2012 in Sydney, Australia; the 2012 winner of the “Outstanding Service to the Great Lakes Community” award presented by the Dairyland Surf Classic; the 2011 “Lifesaver of the Yearaward winner; and presented at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 9, 2012.



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