Authorities concerned over increasing Great Lakes drowning rescues before Fourth of July holiday

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 11:05 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Officials are concerned over the high amount of drowning rescues that led up to the Fourth of July.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) reported their concern for the high number of drowning rescues in only the first half of 2022 before July.

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Dave Benjamin is the GLSRP executive director.

“A lack of public water safety education, crowded beaches, and the holiday hype could be contributors to this uptick,” said Benjamin. “Luckily lifeguards and first responders have been on the spot to respond to these incidents.”

Officials from the GLSRP said that there have been 47 drownings following July in 2022 compared to the 100 total year round drownings in 2021.

In a press release they listed the amount of drownings per year since 2010 in the Great Lakes.

  • 74 drownings in 2010
  • 88 in 2011
  • 99 in 2012
  • 67 in 2013
  • 54 in 2014
  • 55 in 2015
  • 99 in 2016
  • 88 in 2017
  • 117 in 2018
  • 97 in 2019
  • 108 in 2020
  • 100 in 2021
  • 47 to date in 2022

The mission of the GLSRP is to eradicate drownings by being the leader of Great Lakes water safety by providing training, public preparedness, and public awareness.

According to the GLSRP’s website, they specialize in,

  • Tracking the Great Lakes drowning statistics (1,050+ drownings since 2010)
  • Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 900+ in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states since 2011)
  • Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety.
  • Performs In-service Training for Open Water Surf Lifeguards and First Responders
  • Leads the Great Lakes Water Safety Public Relations and Media Relations Campaigns
  • Leads many Great Lakes Water Safety “Special Projects”, which often span multiple years

They stated that their vision is for “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.”

To view more information on Great Lakes safety, you can visit their website here.


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