Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project Reminds People About The Dangers Of Drowning

Nancy Harty
May 29, 2018 - 7:43 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Summer has started for college students and some younger kids, meaning it's a good time to remind them about the dangers of drowning.

The hot weather brought a lot of people out to beaches this holiday weekend. Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project reminds swimmers that while the air is hot, the water is not. 

"We haven't been to the beach in nine months, for most people, so the water is much colder this year, because we had a cold spring," he said.

That means most swimmers have not been in the water since last summer, or fall, making them out of practice. Benjamin suggests reacclimating slowly. 

"It's summertime. People want to go to the beach, even if it is 70 degrees, people will say hey I'll take that," he said. "And then when they get there wind and waves and dangerous currents..."

Benjamin's advice: take it slow, swim where there is a lifeguard and don't go too far out. 

The Surf Rescue Project said 88 people drowned in the Great Lakes last year, 40 of which were in Lake Michigan.