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Health, Science and Environment

Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium teaches drowning prevention procedures


When summer heats up many people, tourist and local alike flock to the Great Lakes to cool off. But, the lakes can be dangerous and drowning doesn’t look like it does in the movies.

Someone who’s drowning won’t wave their arms and shout. All their energy will be going into keeping their face above water. Usually people will push down on the water with their arms and tilt their head back to lift their mouth up.

Jamie Racklyeft is the founder of the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium. He says if you spot someone in distress, don’t go out without assistance.

“If you’re gonna save someone else, find something that float. Try to throw it to them from the shore or from the pier. If you have to go after them make sure you have a boogie board, a cooler a soccer ball, anything that floats to help keep you safe.”

Racklyeft says some would be rescuers end up being victims themselves.

Racklyeft says swimmers should also stay out of the water and heed warnings and red flags and wear life jackets in the lakes.