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

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GLSRP TV News Interviews

Below is a compilation of GLSRP TV News Interviews

07/09/2017 – WTMJ 414Ward – How to prevent drownings

07/03/2017 – UpNorthLive – Your Health Matters: Increase drowning awareness

06/17/2016 – ABC 7 – Great Lakes Could See Record Number of Drownings this Year – CHICAGO (WLS) – Summer begins Monday, but already this year, 25 people have drowned in the Great Lakes. Three bodies were pulled out of Lake Michigan last weekend alone. To be added

06/16/2016 – The Weather Channel on Facebook Live – Drowning Survival Strategy: Flip, Float, and Follow; Drownings in the Great Lakes are ‘a neglected public health issue.’ One woman shares her story of loss and how quickly a drowning can happen. #GLSRP

06/09/2016 – Cleveland 19 News – An Ashtabula mom, Melissa Zirkle, has made it her life mission to keep children safe on the lake after her son died in a Lake Erie drowning accident.

06/08/2016 – WSBT 22 – How do you prevent drowning? Knowing the signs; Michigan City, IN Open Water Surf Lifeguard In-service Training and First Responder Training

05/28/2016 – WSBT 22 – Stay safe on Lake Michigan this summer – The summer swim season is right around the corner, so we asked Dave Benjamin — executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project — to join us in the studio. It’s an organization committed to ending drowning on the Great Lakes. He has some tips to keep you safe.

05/24/2016 – WZZM 13 – Water safety expert teaches state, local officials ‘drowning doesn’t look like drowning’ – “People don’t understand what drowning really looks like,” said Bob Pratt, director of education for the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. “We can just get the word out that drowning doesn’t look like drowning; drowning is very different than the way Hollywood portrays it,” said Pratt.

“People think that there’s all kinds of waving and yelling and carrying on, when in fact the victim is pushing down on the water desperately attempting to keep their head above the water,” said Pratt.

Pratt says people drowning should flip, float, and follow. “Follow the safest course back,” said Pratt.

05/20/2016 – WLNS 6 – Water Safety: Flip, float and follow – Do you know what to do if a current sweeps you out into the middle of a Great Lake?

05/17/2016 – WWMT – Flip, float, follow: surviving dangerous currents – FLIP over onto your back. FLOAT to keep your head above water, conserve your energy, and calm yourself down from fear and panic. FOLLOW the safest path out of the water. NOTE each drowning situation is going to be unique and Following the safest path out of the water may be hard to determine.  Continue Floating until Rescue Arrives.

05/17/2016 – WLNS 6 – Water Safety: What pool owners should know before taking a dip in their swimming pool – “Recent studies say that especially adolescent males are very poor at judging their swimming ability,” said Great Lakes Surf & Rescue Project Executive Director Bob Pratt.

But it’s not because of the reason you would think. “Males overestimate their ability, not just in swimming but in most things,” Pratt mentioned. Often times in pools especially when crowded, drowning is almost disguised and often not seen. “Once a victim goes underwater, in many cases they’re invisible,” said Pratt.

05/16/2016 – WLNS 6 – Water Safety Week – Kids learn to swim before they can walk. Bob Pratt is the director of education for Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. He says drowning happens quicker than you think.” They portray drowning as this big, loud, long affair where there is waving and yelling. where there is three or four or five minutes where the person is in distress, when in actuality drowning happens almost suddenly, it happens very, very quickly…”

“What happens when you panic is your heart beats faster, you start breathing faster and as you’re hyperventilating you’re actually letting out more air then you’re taking in which makes you sink more. which is very unfortunate in a drowning situation because flotation is the key. if you relax and take a nice deep breath in, your chances of floating are much much greater.”

04/22/2016 – WZZM 13 – GRAND HAVEN, MI – Water safety conference aims to prevent Great Lakes drownings

04/19/2016 – News Net 5 – Kayaker Pulled from Lake Erie – According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, eight people have been rescued in Lake Erie since Saturday.  Seven people were rescued Saturday when a distress call came in from a boat with two downed engines. The boat was taking on water about a mile northeast of Mouse Island.  The Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium is hosting a Great Lakes Water Safety Conference Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, located at 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village.

08/07/2015 – WGN “Chicago’s Very Own” – Man Makes Water Safety Education His Life’s Passion

08/05/2015 – WGN 9 – Promo for GLSRP Executive Director featured for “Chicago’s Very Own Segment” this Friday evening, 9 p.m. newscast.

08/04/2015 – WSBT 22 – Ed Russo – Drownings spike in Lake Michigan over past three weeks – According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Lake Michigan saw 24 drownings in 2014. Many of them occurred in the late summer months. This year, Lake Michigan has seen 11 drownings — 8 of which have occurred since July 11th. Most of them in the Chicago area.

07/25/2015 – ABC 7 Chicago – Family Mourning teen who drowned at 31st St. Beach – It was meant to be a fun family day out at the beach to celebrate a sibling’s birthday. Instead, a family is now mourning the loss of 17-year-old Eddie Horns, who drowned Friday night at 31st Street Beach.

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07/16/2015 – 9 & 10 News – Jamie Racklyeft, GLSRP Board Member shares his drowning survival story. Thanks for all of your hard work!

07/15/2015 – Fox 21 – Great Lakes Rescue Class Held at Park Point – Students Learned How to Recognize Swimmer in Distress

06/23/2015Lansing News Radio Show, LCC Radio WLNZ co-hosted by Bonnie Bucqueroux and Bill Castanier – Bob Pratt of the GLSRP on water safety

05/15/2015 – WSBT – Promo: In over your head – Lifesaving techniques

05/12/2015 – WCIU “The U” – You & Me This Morning segment – “Power of the Surf – Water Safety.

05/11/2015 – TMJ4 – Port Washington schools using proactive approach to promote water safety – In schools today there’s fire drills, tornado drills, school shooter drills, earthquake drills in some states and very little water safety education. Numbers show more school aged children will likely die from drowning than a fire, tornadoes and school shootings combined. The group will hit up six states over the next six days teaching students how to keep themselves safe.

06/28/2014 – WWMT News Channel 3 – Staying safe in the water

06/22/2014 – Wood TV 8 – A day after the most recent drowning, a West Michigan organization already happened to have a class scheduled aimed at preventing situations like this and teaching others how to help in a water emergency – Muskegon’s Great Lakes Water Safety Class.  [The coverage of the class starts at 00:29.] 

06/13/2014 – WNDU TV – Lake drownings up 64% since 2013+

06/10/2014Fox 8 – Mother offers water safety classes after losing teenage son

06/08/2014 – WGN TV – GLSRP Water Safety Tips & Beach hazard alert issued for Lake Michigan today

06/05/2014 – 19 Action News – Mom’s grief turns into useful initiative for community (with Melissa Zirkle).

05/07/2014 – ABC 7Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project educates students for safer swimming

08/30/2013 CBS 2 – Water-Safety Advocate: ‘Flip, Float And Follow’ When In Distress (With Evelyn Hernandez)

08/20/2013 ABC 57 – The Dangers of Rip Currents

08/19/2013 WZZM 13 – What’s the fastest way to rescue a drowning victim

08/02/2013 UpNorthLive – Survivor shares story to promote swim safety

07/25/2013  MLIVE – How to stay safe in the water: tips for Great Lakes, rivers and pools

07/25/2013 MLIVE – What are tips for keeping kids safe in the water?

07/24/2013 MLIVE – What should I do if I start to struggle in water?

07/02/2013 WZZM – Who is most likely to drown in Lake Michigan?

06/26/2013 WILX – Water Safety Tips That Could Prevent Drowning

06/01/2013 WGN – Drowning survivor warns others about water safety (with Evelyn Hernandez)

05/30/2013 WNDU – Should beach safety be part of school curriculum?

02/08/2012 ABC 57 – Hero from New Buffalo beach rescue getting national honor

05/31/2012 ABC 57 – Saving lives this summer

08/07/2011 WZZM 13 – Surfers to the Rescue