A partnership to save lives on the Great Lakes
GLSRP Water Safety Presentations heading to
Tinley Park, IL May 7
TINLEY PARK, IL – John and Kathy Kocher have partnered with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) and Victor J. Andrew High School to host Great Lakes Water Safety presentations for its students and faculty. The presentations will be Wednesday, May 7, 9 a.m. at the high school located at 9001 W. 171st St, Tinley Park, IL.
On July 27, 2013 Matthew Kocher, 15, was on a day trip to New Buffalo, MI with his summer camp when he got caught in a Lake Michigan rip current and drowned. He was going to be a sophomore at Victor J. Andrew High School where he was an honors student that played football, basketball, and volleyball.
John and Kathy partnered with the GLSRP after Matt drowned because they want to educate others about dangerous currents, water safety, and want to save lives.
340 GREAT LAKES DROWNINGS SINCE 2010
Since 2010, there have been 340 drownings on the Great Lakes (GLSRP Statistics page).
If members of the media would like to attend the presentations on May 7, please contact Dave Benjamin ASAP at 708-903-0166. You must RSVP for admittance to the school.
Kocher was memorialized Jan. 25th at the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament at Richards High School. The tournament was renamed “The Matt Kocher Games” in his honor. Kocher had volunteered for the tournament for the last nine years. Kocher was also posthumously awarded the Youth Service Medal of Honor by Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.
- Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics
- Teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes
- Is the “Third Coast Ocean Force” rip Current Awareness Campaign
- Hosts Surf Lifeguard Certification courses, and
- 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:
- When in doubt, don’t go out!
- Know the 1-10-1 Rule of Hypothermia (especially in fall, winter, and spring)
- Know the Signs of Drowning
- Know the MI Sea Grants “Flip, Float, and Follow” Rip Current Survival Strategy
- GLSRP Water Safety Illustrations
- Know the Great Lakes Dangerous Currents
- Drowning Terms to Discontinue
- GLSRP Drowning Statistics