National Drowning Prevention Alliance
     “Lifesaver of the Year” Award 2012 & 2020
        “Community Lifesaver” Award 2016 & 2018

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Flip, Float, and Follow


Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director of Public Relations, 708-903-0166
Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, 517-643-2553

Continued Endorsement of the Drowning Survival Strategy

Flip, Float, and Follow

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces its continued endorsement of the “Flip, Float, and Follow” Drowning Survival Strategy. [Similar to the fire safety technique, “Stop, Drop, and Roll” if you ever catch on fire.]

“As long as you are floating, you are alive and buying time for rescue to arrive,” said David Benjamin, executive director.

“And the old rip current survival strategy, “Don’t panic swim parallel to shore”, may not always work. ‘Don’t panic’ is important to know but it is not a helpful action to take 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 and jetty walls). It’s best to assess which way the current is pulling you before your risk swimming against it.”

How to use the “Flip, Float, Follow” Drowning Survival Strategy – If you are ever caught in water over your head or a Dangerous Current:

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.

Follow the safest path to safety / out of the water.

Never swim against a current. If you are in a Dangerous Current, 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.

–As long as you are floating, you are alive*.
–As long as you are struggling or fighting a current, you are drowning – Conserve your energy and do not do the Signs of Drowning.

“Flip, Float, and Follow,” is a new campaign to help people remember how to successfully escape a variety of drowning accidents including dangerous currents such as rip currents, long-shore currents, and structural currents.

Like “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, a simple fire safety technique taught to children as a component of fire safety week to extinguish a fire on a person’s clothes or hair, “Flip, Float and Follow” can be an effective psychological tool to focus on in order to avoid panic in a terrifying situation.

This 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 the Michigan Sea Grant in 2011.  Sea Grant’s outreach professionals developed new educational materials that clearly communicate an important message: don’t panic if caught in a dangerous current.


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 Year” award winner; and presented at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 9, 2012.