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

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Memorial Water Safety Presentation for Drowning Victim

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Memorial Water Safety Presentation

For 2015 Lake Michigan Drowning Victim

As Lake Michigan drownings are up 57% over 2016

Carol Stream, IL – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces that it will be performing a Great Lakes Water Safety Presentation in Memorial of Chase Froese, Thursday, May 18, 11:00 a.m. at Wheaton Christian Grammar School, 1N350 Taylor Drive, Winfield, IL 60190. Froese attended the grammar school from 2000 – 2009, grades K-9.

On July 31, 2015, Chase Froese, 20, of Carol Stream, Illinois went missing while swimming at Indiana’s Porter Beach. Froese and two of her friends were pulled away from shore in rip currents and heavy wave action. Good Samaritans were able to rescue her two friends, but Froese disappeared from sight. Her body was recovered August 2, 2015.

Froese was a 2013 high school graduate of Wheaton Academy, a private Christian school in West Chicago. While at Wheaton, Froese was involved in orchestra all four years.

Calvin College Chaplain Mary Hulst wrote of Froese, a junior, as a “much beloved” member of the student body. Froese was a leader on campus with an infectious smile, said college President Michael Le Roy.

This water safety presentation comes as Lake Michigan drownings increase at a record pace.

  • There have been 554 Great Lakes drownings since 2010.
  • Of the 554 Great Lakes drownings since 2010, 261 happened in Lake Michigan (i.e. 57% of Great Lakes drownings happened in Lake Michigan)
  • 2016 had 46 Lake Michigan drownings; an 84% increase over 2015’s 25 Lake Michigan drownings.
  • To date in 2017, there have been 11 Lake Michigan drownings; a 57% increase over 2016’s 7 Lake Michigan drownings to this date, May 17.

The importance of water safety education
“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.” 

In schools today there are fire drills, tornado drills, school shooter drills, and even earthquake drills in some schools in Illinois and Indian yet little to no water safety education.  And it’s likely that more school aged children will die drowning each year than in fires, tornadoes, school shooters, and earthquakes combined.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

Lake Michigan Water Safety Presentation

Wheaton Christian Grammar School
1N350 Taylor Drive
Winfield, IL 60190

Thursday, May 18, 2017
11:00 a.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) 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 (554+ drownings since 2010)
  2. Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 420 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