National Drowning Prevention Alliance
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        “Community Lifesaver” Award 2016 & 2018

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Drowning survivor to reunite with rescue chaplain at class

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

 Drowning survivor to reunite with fire department chaplain

at “Great Lakes Water Safety” class 

GARY, IN – Drowning survivor, Evelyn Hernandez, will reunite with Chesterton Fire Department Chaplain, Rev. Lowell Black, at the “Great Lakes Water Safety” class that she is co-hosting, Saturday, June 1, 9:00 a.m. at the beautifully restored Marquette Park Pavilion, Gary, IN.

“Thank you for holding my hand during a very emotional and tragic event,” Hernandez said when speaking about Reverend Black.

“I was losing control at that moment and he brought peace and serenity during a time of pain.  He was sincere and genuine in his empathy and helped by speaking to the local authorities to help me understand the steps in the rescue process.”

“Our mission is to provide spiritual and emotional support for family, friends and first responders of the drowning victim,” said Black.  “We also explain what the rescue teams are doing to find their loved one so that they know just how much effort is being expended in doing everything possible for the best possible outcome.”

On June 18, 2012, Hernandez survived a drowning accident in Beverly Shores, Indiana, but her boyfriend, Leonel Dominguez, 31, of New York did not.

“The Reverend showed up at a time I was full of despair, pain, shock and confusion,” Hernandez added.  “I thank God and the reverend for his ability to alleviate the stress and the pain during those first hours after the accident.”

“He helped me understand tragic accidents can happen unexpectedly and they are not in our control.  We can still love, be loved and must accept accidents can happen, especially when dealing with the Lake.”

Since the accident Hernandez has committed her time to making sure communities understand how to enjoy the lake and how to improve survival skills should they encounter dangerous situations.

“I thank him [Black] for inspiring me to walk forward and make a difference as a drowning survivor.  Lake Michigan is a beautiful lake and we should enjoy it fully with greater awareness,” Hernandez concluded.

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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, teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” 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.