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Great Lakes Drownings up 69%; Chicago Classes

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director
Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, 517-643-2553 

Great Lakes drownings up 69% over last year

2 Chicago Great Lakes Water Safety Classes this weekend

Sat., Montrose Beach & Sun., Rainbow Beach

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces its current Great Lakes drowning statistics.  To date in 2014, the GLSRP is tracking 23 Great Lakes drownings.  Overall since 2010, 353 people have drowned in the Great Lakes (74 in 2010; 87 in 2011; 101 in 2012, and 68 in 2013). (GLSRP Drowning Statistics)

These numbers are up 69% over 2013’s 13 drownings for the same date.  These numbers are also 10% higher than 2012’s drownings for the same date; and 2012 had a record 101 drownings on the Great Lakes.

As of June 4, 2014, there are 23 Great Lakes drownings to date;
As of June 4, 2013, there were 13 Great Lakes drownings.
As of June 4, 2012, there were 21 Great Lakes drownings

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the Illinois DNR are presenting two “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes Saturday, June 7 at Montrose Beach and Sunday, June 8 at Rainbow Beach.

These classes are in coordination with the National Weather Service’s “National Rip Current Awareness Week” and the Council of Great Lakes Governors annual Beach Safety Awareness Week“.  These classes are FREE and OPEN to the public.

Please RSVP at and follow the drop down menu.  Please invite your family and friends through the Facebook Event Pages (June 7, Montrose Beach and June 8, Rainbow Beach).

WHEN AND WHERE (Classes are rain or shine)
Sat., June 7, 9:00 a.m. Montrose Beach’s Clarendon Fieldhouse, 4501 N. Clarendon Ave.  Invite your friends and family through the Facebook Event Page. 

Sun., June 8, 9:00 a.m., Rainbow Beach, 3111 E 77th St. (79th Street and South Shore).  Invite your friends and family through the Facebook Event Page.

The “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes will teach participants to:

  • Understand that drowning is a leading cause of injury and death
  • Recognize the “Signs of Drowning” – How to identify a person in trouble.
  • Recognize the dangers of the surf environment keeping personal safety as the primary responsibility
  • Understand dangerous currents; i.e. how, where, and why dangerous currents occur and how to survive then;
  • Understand the “Flip, Float, & Follow” dangerous currents survival strategy
  • Understand how a flotation device such as a throw ring, throw, rope, surfboard or other objects that float can rescue a person in distress or in a dangerous current
  • Enroll in lifesaving, first aid and CPR training from accredited agencies.  

To date the class participants have consisted of the general public, surfers, lifeguards, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, water rescue team members, dive team members, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

GLSRP Drowning Statistics
Like GLSRP’s Facebook Page
Follow GLSRP on Twitter @ripcurrentsafeT


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
  2. Teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes
  3. Is the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip Current Awareness Campaign
  4. Hosts Surf Lifeguard Certification courses, and
  5. Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to promote water safety.

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.

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.


SAFETY TIPS – What everyone should know before they put their toes on the beach: