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

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Lake Michigan Deadliest – Wilmette & Whiting Water Safety this week

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Deadliest start of Great Lakes drowning season;

31 to date in 2017; 17 of those in Lake Michigan

568 Great Lakes Drownings since 2010

 GLSRP heading to Wilmette, IL and Whiting, IN

For Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations this week

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces that Great Lakes drownings are on record pace to be the deadliest year since it began tracking drownings in 2010.

In 2017, the GLSRP is tracking 31 Great Lakes drownings.  Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked 568 Great Lakes drownings.  Full statistics here (74 drownings in 2010; 87 in 2011; 101 in 2012, 67 in 2013, 54 in 2014, 55 in 2015, 99 in 2016, and 31 to date in 2017). Note: * = (+/-) Awaiting 100% confirmation of drowning.

Great Lakes drownings are on track to match or surpass the deadliest years since the GLSRP started tracking the statistics in 2010.

2012 was a deadly year on the Great Lakes with 101 drownings. On this date in 2012 there were 31 Great Lakes drownings.

2016 was a deadly year on the Great Lakes as well with 99 drownings. On this date in 2016, there were 29 Great Lakes drownings.

Today in 2017, there are 31 great Lakes drownings.

“We are on a record pace and with a hot summer predicted, it doesn’t look like the drownings are going to slow down,” said Dave Benjamin GLSRP Executive Director.

“The big problem today is that water safety is not common sense, yet it is assumed to be ‘common sense’ and the mass population does not know or understand that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S. and the world,” Benjamin added. “Most people do not know the water safety basics.”

“The question we really want to ask people going to the beach, ‘Are you going to be one of our statistics or are you going to learn and abide by the water safety basics?’

On Tuesday, June 20, 2017 the GLSRP will be performing Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations for Wilmette Park District Campers, 200 Lake Ave., Wilmette, IL at 9:30 a.m. for approximately 100 6-8 graders and 1:00 p.m. for approximately 130 3-5 graders.

And on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the GLSRP will be performing Great Lakes Water Safety Presentation at the Whiting Park Pavilion, 1600 Park Rd., Whiting, IN for Whiting YMCA Summer Campers at 9:45 a.m. for K-3 graders and 10:45 a.m. for 4-6 graders

The presentations will age appropriately address the following topics so that participants:

  • Safely enjoy water and swimming
  • 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 the “Flip, Float, & Follow” dangerous currents survival strategy
  • Understand Dangerous Currents; i.e. how, where, and why dangerous currents occur and how to survive then
  • 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

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 (562+ drownings since 2010)
  2. Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 460 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 Ownsegment, “Man makes water safety education his life’s passion”
  2. Dave Benjamin’s drowning accidentand ‘Because I said I would’ water safety promise video
  3. John & Kathy Kocher’s “Gentle Giant” ‘Because I said I would promise video.

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