Flip, float and follow -- How Michiganders can stay safe in rip currents

How Michiganders can stay safe in the water
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Every child learns stop, drop and roll to protect themselves in a fire and to look both ways before crossing the street.

Swim safety experts want to add a new safety routine to the toolbox: flip, float and follow.

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project’s Bobby Pratt, flip, float and follow is what you should do if you find yourself in a dangerous swimming situation.

Great Lakes rip currents are unique and powerful. They can often tire someone out before they even realize they’re struggling. With flip, float and follow, you can avoid panic and avoid tiring yourself out.

“Flip over on your back,” Pratt said. “Try to calm yourself down, take a nice deep breath in.”

By floating on your back, you conserve energy. Then you swim parallel to the beach to get out of the current.

“I don’t want to fight against the current I’ll just tire myself out. So flip over onto your back, float to calm yourself down and float to conserve your energy and then follow a path back to safety,” Pratt said.

He also recommends assigning someone in groups to watch for children when at the lake or pool.


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