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

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Day 3 – Jefferson, Ohio

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Day 3 at Jefferson Elementary and the Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team

“Six states in six days” for 18 water safety presentations 

To support a water safety school curriculum

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces that it will be spending Day 3 of its “Six states in six days” of its Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations on Wedneday, May 13 at Jefferson Elementary and in at the Rome Fire Department with the Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team in Ohio.

The classes have all been organized by Melissa Zirkle.  Zirkle won the 2015 NDPA Lifesaver of the Year Award for her work advocating water safety since her son, Jermaine, 13, drowned in a Lake Erie rip current in 2013.

Jermain Zirkle 0001

“I have poured my heart and soul into water safety and prevention,” said Melissa Zirkle. “Drowning is 100 percent preventable. If you are not aware of the water hazards, then there is nothing you can do. I am raising awareness to get everyone involved.”

“Most people do not know that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the nation,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director.  “And with summer temps warming up, many people will be flocking to water destinations to enjoy the outdoors.”

“In schools today there are fire drills, tornado drills, school shooter drills, and some even have earthquake drills, but very few have any water safety education. Unfortunately though more people in the United States will die from drowning each year than in fires, tornadoes, school shooters, and earthquakes combined.  So why is there little water safety education?”

The GLSRP will be hitting the road to Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana to support the importance of a water safety school curriculum.

Mon., May 11 – Port Washington, MI (x4)
Saukville Elementary 9:00 a.m.
Dunwiddie Elementary 10:15 a.m.
Lincoln Elementary 12:45 p.m.
St. Mary’s Parochial Elementary 2:15 p.m.

Tues., May 12 – Burbank, IL (x7) – 7:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  – Reavis High School

Wed., May 13 – Jefferson, OH (x2) – Jefferson Elementary, 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Grades K-2 and 3-6

Wed., May 13 – Jefferson, OH 6:30 p.m. Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team and First Responders at the Rome Fire Department, 3162 US-6, Rome, OH, (440) 563-3990

Thurs., May 14 – Erie, PA (x2) – Great Lakes Children’s Festival

Fri., May 15 – St. Johns, MI, 1:00 p.m. – Eureka Elementary School, 7550 N. Welling Rd.

Sat., May 16 – Porter, IN, 1:00 p.m. Indiana Dunes Visitors Center, 1215 N. State Road 49

GLSRP Drowning Statistics
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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 (389 since 2010)
  2. Teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes (Over 135 classes since 2011)
  3. Hosts Surf Lifeguard Certification courses (pics), and
  4. Works with family and friends  of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety.