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

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Drownings up 84% – Water Safety in Gary, IN today

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Lake Michigan Drownings up 84% Last year over 2015; 

Tracking 14 Great Lakes drownings in 2017

Lake Michigan Water Safety Presentation today at

Green Gary – Earth Day Celebration

 GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces its latest drowning statistics and will be presenting today, Saturday, April 29, 2017, 11:15 a.m. as part of the Green Gary – Earth Day Celebration.

In 2016 the GLSRP tracked 99 Great Lakes drownings; 46 of those were in Lake Michigan plus 6 more Lake Michigan drowning accidents that were last listed in critical condition; in 2015 there were 25 Lake Michigan drownings, up 84%. Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked over 551 Great Lakes drownings (Full statistics here).

Dave Benjamin of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project ( will be presenting a Lake Michigan Water Safety Presentation today at the Paul H Douglas Center, Room 1, Gary, IN. The presentation is FREE and OPEN to the public.

The presentation will have an emphasis on:

  1. The Big Picture of Drowning
  2. The Signs of Drowning (The Hollywood Version vs. the Actual Version)
  3. Drowning Survival Strategies
  4. Great Lakes Dangerous Currents
  5. Water Safety
  6. Basic Water Rescue

“Unfortunately we know that the big picture of drowning continues to be a neglected public health issue [2015 WHO report] and we know that it needs to be part of the school curriculum and addressed year round,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director.

“Water safety and drowning survival is not common sense. It’s a silent epidemic that gets very little proactive funding or attention. We believe that water safety and drowning survival is not rocket science,” Benjamin added. “It is simple bullet pointed information that is not being efficiently or effectively delivered.”

According to Benjamin, if you ask anyone anywhere in the United States, ‘what do you do if your clothes catch on fire’ they will tell you, ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll.’ But ask them ‘what do you do if you are drowning’ and you’ll most often get silence and blank stares.

Since June 2011, the GLSRP has performed 365 Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states; 170 of those occurred in 2016 and it has plans for a lot more in 2017.

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 targets elementary students, Junior High students, High School students, parents of each age group, and trainers of the curriculum,” Benjamin concluded.

Dave Benjamin
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Green Gary – Earth Day Celebration

Lake Michigan Water Safety Presentation

Douglas Center
Room 1
100 Lake St.
Gary, IN

April 29, 2017
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Because drowning continues to be a neglected public health issue, so stay safe and have fun at the beach this summer!


The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP)  It is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation that is is about saving lives.


  1. Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics (536+ drownings since 2010)
  2. Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 365 in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states since 2011)
  3. Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety.
  4. Hosts Open Water Surf Lifeguard Training and First Responder In-service Training

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.


  1. WGN Chicago’s Very Own segment, “Man makes water safety education his life’s passion”
  2. Dave Benjamin’s drowning accident and ‘Because I said I would’ water safety promise video
  3. John & Kathy Kocher’s “Gentle Giant” ‘Because I said I would promise video.