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

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GL Drowning Stats Update & Cold Water Weekend

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Great Lakes drownings continue to rise in 2018

Hot air and cold water = a dangerous mix.

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces its current drowning statistics.

In 2018, the GLSRP is tracking 17 possible Great Lakes drownings.  Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked 640 Great Lakes drownings (74 drownings in 2010; 87 in 2011; 99 in 2012; 67 in 2013; 54 in 2014; 55 in 2015; 99 in 2016 88 in 2017; 17 to date in 2018). Full statistics here.

“Water safety and drowning survival is not common sense yet,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP Executive Director. “Most people have not been back to the beach since last August so be aware that the water is very cold and your swimming endurance is very low.”

Sudden immersion into cold water can cause cold water shock and a sudden involuntary hyperventilation gasp reflex and cause drowning.

“Wear your lifejackets on your boats and kayaks. Dress for the water temperature.”

According to the GLSRP, Everyone should know the 1-10-1 Rule of hypothermia. Hypothermia will not kill you in minutes, but if you can’t control your breathing the first minute of cold water immersion, you can drown.



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


  1. Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics (631+ drownings since 2010)
  2. Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 650 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.

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Follow GLSRP on Twitter @ripcurrentsafeT