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

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06/30 Ogden Dunes Water Safety

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director of Project Management & Public Relations

Indiana residents inspired by

Mom of son who drowned in Lake Erie

Ogden Dunes water safety class scheduled for June 30 

OGDEN DUNES, IN – John and Laurie Defauw were inspired by Melissa Zirkle for hosting three water safety classes in Ohio in memory of her son, Jermaine, 13, who drowned in Lake Erie last summer.

Now the Defauw’s are funding a GLSRP Great Lakes Water Safety class on Monday, June 30, 9:00 a.m. at the Ogden Dunes Fire house, 111 Hillcrest Rd.

“So many parents have lost their kids,” said John Defauw.  “No more parents should lose theirs.” “This class will be in honor of all Great Lakes drowning victims,” Defauw added.

Defauw was also inspired by other family and friends who have hosted water safety classes in the wake of grief that follows drowning:

The class is free and open to the public.  If people would like to attend, please RSVP at or visit the Facebook Event Page. 

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The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is about saving lives.  It is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation that is a Chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA).


  1. Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics
  2. Teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes
  3. Is the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip Current Awareness Campaign
  4. Hosts Surf Lifeguard Certification courses, and
  5. Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to promote water safety. 

Mission: To eradicate drownings by being the leader of Great Lakes water safety by providing training, public preparedness, and public awareness.

Vision: Everyone in the Great Lakes region, nationwide and worldwide, is knowledgeable, engaged and proactive in water safety with an emphasis on the Great Lakes region.

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.


SAFETY TIPS – What everyone should know before they put their toes on the beach: