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

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Day 4 Erie, PA – Great Lakes Children’s Fest

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Six states in six days” for 22 water safety presentations 

DAY 4 at the Great Lakes Children’s Water Festival

With NDPA Lifesaver of the Year, Melissa Zirkle

To support a water safety school curriculum 

LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project ( will be spending Day 4 of its “Six States in Six Days” of its Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations at the Great Lakes Children’s Water Festival. The GLSRP hit launched its campaign Monday in Wisconsin, and then Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana to support the importance of a water safety school curriculum.

Today’s classes will be co-hosted 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. 

“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 presenting in the Nick building Room 69 at:

  1. 9:55 a.m.
  2. 10:30 a.m.
  3. 11:40 a.m.
  4. 12:15 a.m.
  5. 12:50 p.m.
  6. 2:00 p.m.


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.

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) – 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
Like GLSRP’s Facebook Page
Follow GLSRP on Twitter @ripcurrentsafeT