FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director
Aurora teen was the 443 Great Lakes drowning since 2010 (446 total)
It’s time for America to addresses the big picture of drowning;
This neglected public health issue
GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project announces its current drowning statistics. In 2016, the GLSRP has tracked 8 Great Lakes drownings. Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked 446 Great Lakes drownings. Full statistics here (Listings per year: 74 drownings in 2010; 87 in 2011; 101 in 2012, 67 in 2013, 54 in 2014, 55 in 2015, and 8 to date in 2016).
“What most people do not know or understand is that water safety and drowning prevention is not ‘common sense’,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director. “It’s been a mild winter, spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. How many more have to drown before water safety is finally taken seriously. It’s 2016. Let’s get it together!”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Drowning is a neglected public health issue” that’s still happening with alarming frequency around the world.
According to the Center for Disease Control Statistics, drowning is the:
- Leading cause of accidental injury death for children 1-4
- Second leading cause of accidental injury death for children 1-14 (second only to car accidents)
- Fifth leading cause of accidental injury death for the Nation as a whole
- Third leading cause of accidental injury death worldwide
“Why is it that the WHO and the CDC speak and no one listens,” Benjamin asks. “It’s a silent epidemic, and there is a vicious cycle to these drownings that no one really wants to address. ”
The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – An Overview
- “Drowning is a neglected public health issue,” the World Health Organization
- Each year millions of dollars are spent to bring more people to water
- People who do not know that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death
- People who do not have the basic swimming skills to save their own lives in a water emergency
- People who unknowingly support the Stigma of Drowning
- Drowning continues to be a neglected public health issue
- Each year millions of dollars continue to be spent to bring more people to water…
HOW DO WE BREAK THIS CYCLE?
This vicious cycle of the drowning epidemic will continue unless a nationwide water safety school curriculum is implemented.
SAFETY IN SCHOOLS TODAY
In schools today there are fire drills, tornado drills, active shooter drills, and even earthquake drills, but very little water safety education.
YET more school aged children will likely die drowning each year than in fires, tornadoes, school shootings, and earthquakes combined. Combined!
A Water Safety School Curriculum is the fastest approach to reach the largest audience and make a significant impact in the shortest amount of time. The curriculum would target elementary students, Junior High students, High School students, parents of each age group, and trainers of the curriculum.
GLSRP APRIL PRESENTATIONS (additional classes)
Since 2011, the GLSRP has performed 190 “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states)
April 11 – Palos Hills, IL – Stagg High School, 8015 W 111th St, Palos Hills, IL 60465
April 12 – Chicago, IL – Mt. Carmel High School, 6410 S Dante Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
April 13 – Chicago, IL – Brother Rice High School, 10001 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60655
April 19 – Cleveland, OH – Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, OH 44140
April 21 – Chicago, IL – Mother McAuley, 3737 W. 99th St., Chicago, IL 60655
April 22 – Grand Haven, MI – Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference, Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Avenue Grand Haven, MI
ABOUT THE GLSRP
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).
- Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics (445 drownings since 2010)
- Teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes and presentations (Over 200 in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states since 2011)
- Hosts Open Water Surf Lifeguard Certification training, and
- Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety.
- WGN Chicago’s Very Own segment, “Man makes water safety education his life’s passion”
- Dave Benjamin’s drowning accident and ‘Because I said I would’ water safety promise video
GLSRP Drowning Statistics
Like GLSRP’s Facebook Page
Follow GLSRP on Twitter @ripcurrentsafeT
- The GLSRP has performed over 190 Great Lakes Water Safety presentations in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states (The GLSRP will surpass 240 presentations by mid-June 2016)
- April 22, 2016 – The GLSRP will be the Keynote Speaker and Present “The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – The Need for a Water Safety School Curriculum” at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference in Grand Haven, MI
- April 19, 2016 – The GLSRP will be the Keynote Speaker and present “The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – The Need for a Water Safety School Curriculum” at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference in Cleveland, OH
- March 31, 2016 – Presented “The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – The Need for a Water Safety School Curriculum” at the NDPA’s Annual Symposium in Mesa, AZ
- March 29, 2016 – 2015 NDPA Great Lakes Community Lifesaver of the Year Award
- March 29, 2016 – John Kocher, GLSRP Board Member, 2015 NDPA Illinois Community Lifesaver of the Year Award Winner (Kathy Kocher is also the recipient of this award.)
- May 6, 2015 – Presented at Great Lakes Beach Hazards and Water Safety Conference in Gaylord, MI
- April 21, 2015 – Co-Hosted and Presented at the Great Lakes Beach Hazards Water Safety Conference in Michigan City, IN
- March 12, 2015 – Melissa Zirkle, GLSRP Board Member, 2015 NDPA National Lifesaver of the Year Award Winner
- March 14, 2013 – Presented at the NDPA’s Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- November 1, 2012 – Presented at the2nd International Rip Current Symposium in Sydney, Australia
- September 3, 2012 – Winner of the “Outstanding Service to the Great Lakes Community” award presented by the Dairyland Surf Classic
- March 9, 2012 – Presentedat the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, CA
- March 8, 2012 – GLSRP Executive Director, Bob Pratt, “National Lifesaver of the Year”award winner