Water Safety & Surf Rescue

The power of the Great Lakes is so underestimated by visitors, and locals alike. As there is increasing participation in outdoor recreation, the number of Great Lakes drownings continue to rise (by a whopping 36% in 2020). We need serious widespread action and expanded education to reduce drowning incidents on the Great Lakes, and surfers can play an enormously vital role in saving lives.

Before paddling out, we encourage you to learn more about how you can keep yourself, and those around you safe, and above the surface. Acquiring basic knowledge of surf etiquette, water safety, surf rescue technique and CPR can go such a long way in ensuring our communities are staying safe and having fun!

A majorly powerful recap of our June ’21 Surf Rescue Clinic with Jack Brodeur, Faith Hoekstra, and the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project:

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation that is about saving lives through water safety education, outreach, and research. They are dedicated stewards who specialize in Water Safety Surf Rescue in the Great Lakes region. Their mission is to eradicate drownings by being the leader of Great Lakes water safety by providing training, public preparedness, and public awareness. The super heroes behind GLSRP, Bobby Pratt and Dave Benjamin will be our primary leaders in this educational morning, as their decades of experience, expertise, and passion for saving lives, is nothing short of inspiring, empowering, and life changing (and saving)!

They have a wide array of resources to help you, your loved ones, and your neighbors stay safe. Check out these awesome, (insanely important) educational videos, before you head back to the lake.

Information for those interested in CPR certification: 

(What is CPR? Learn more.)

Step 1: Purchase and complete the online portion of the American Heart Association, Heartsaver First Aid / CPR / AED Course.  It only costs a mere $19.50/person and is purchased on the website. We suggest taking the child and infant options which you can select within. Upon completion, students print the completion certificate.

Step 2: Arrange a time to complete the Hands-on skills testing portion of the class at Glen Lake Fire Department (or a fire department near you!) and once completed satisfactorily, all students will receive a Completion Card/Certificate from the AHA via email.  Students need to arrive with the completion certificate in hand. Skills testing takes about 45-60 minutes / person can be done with a few people at one time. The cost of cards and supplies per student is $20.00. This would be payable to Glen Lake Fire Department at skills testing. The Glen Lake Fire Department phone number is: 231-334-3279.

Other links/information:

Online Surf Responder Course recommended by Jack Brodeur: Big Wave Risk Assessment Group

For those who want more wilderness medicine training:


BIG thank you to Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project for their tireless efforts to prevent drownings on the Great Lakes and beyond. As a 501C3 organization, they rely on the support of people like me and you, to continue doing the good work that they do. Donate Now.