National Drowning Prevention Alliance
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        “Community Lifesaver” Award 2016 & 2018

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Water Safety Conference-A Must Attend for Media

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director

Tuesday’s water safety conference is a ‘Must Attend’

for the Media, meteorologist, water safety professionals and beach managers! 

 Dynamic leaders in water safety presenting

on the latest beach hazard and water safety updates.  

MICHIGAN CITY, IN – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) requests your attendance at the  Great Lakes Beach Hazards & Water Safety Conference in Michigan City Hall, 100 East Michigan Boulevard, Michigan City, IN.

The conference will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Here are hyperlinks to the conference’s Website & Registration pages. The public is also welcome.

“Every Media person who talks about the weather should be attending this conference,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP Executive Director.  “Waves and dangerous currents are weather events that cause hazardous conditions for those who enjoy the Great Lakes.  Consistent forecasting and beach hazard statement are crucial for the public’s safety.”

“And every media person who may report on drowning accidents should also be attending this conference,” Benjamin added. “It’s important that reporters understand the environment that may have contributed to the drowning as well as the dynamics of drowning.”

The conference will have a wide array of National Weather Service meteorologists, water safety professionals, members of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, representatives from the Great Lakes Commission, family members of drowning victims, and lakefront parks and recreation departments.

Rip current survivor, Jamie Racklyeft, will be the host and moderator for the day and the topics and speakers will include:

  • The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic, Dave Benjamin, Executive Director, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project and Lake Michigan drowning survivor. Since his drowning accident he has promised his life to water safety and the creation and implementation of a Water Safety School Curriculum (Water Safety Promise Video) (Drowning accident Feature Story)
  • Real-Life Stories, John Kocher, on the loss of his son, Matthew, who drowned in a Lake Michigan rip current in 2013 (Water Safety Promise Video).
  • Great Lakes Wind and Wave Forecasting, Bob Dukesherer of the National Weather Service
  • Dangerous Currents on the Great Lakes, Megan Dodson, National Weather Service
  • Great Lakes Dangerous Nearshore Currents Experiment Results, Guy Meadows, Michigan Technological University
  • Lakefront County Parks Departments, Brian Bailey, Director of the Berrien County Parks Commission
  • Mason-Oceana County Water Safety Coalition, Elizabeth Reimink, Mason County Emergency Management
  • Know Before You Go: NWS Beach Forecasts, Statements, and Decision Support Services
  • Ricky Castro, National Weather Service Chicago, Illinois
  • myBeachCast App, Christine Manninen, Great Lakes Commission
  • Dangerous Currents Best Practices: Swim Safety Risk Communication, Water Safety Equipment, Tools, and Training, Anjanette Riley, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
  • Coastal Storms Program Great Lakes Beach Hazards Grant Outcomes
  • Developing a Community of Practice, Bob Dukesherer, National Weather Service, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Putting Principles into Practice, Bob Pratt, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
  • Panel Discussion – Ideation & Messaging, Guy Meadows, Bob Pratt, Bob Dukesherer, AJ Riley, Brian Bailey

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


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 (389 since 2010)
  2. Teaches “Great Lakes Water Safety” classes (Over 135 classes since 2011)
  3. Hosts Surf Lifeguard Certification courses (pics), and
  4. Works with family and friends  of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate 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 has performed over 60 Great Lakes Water Safety classes in 6 of the 8 Great Lakes states; Presented at the NDPA’s 12th Annual Symposium, March  2013 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Presented at the 2nd International Rip Current Symposium Nov. 2012 in Sydney, Australia; the 2012 winner of the “Outstanding Service to the Great Lakes Community” award presented by the Dairyland Surf Classic; the 2012 “Lifesaver of the Year” award winner; and presented at the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, March 2012.


SAFETY TIPS – What everyone should know before they put their toes on the beach: