Flip, Float, and Follow. Those are the three statements a rescue project in New Buffalo is teaching beach-goers and swimmers about water safety awareness across the Great Lakes region.
Cory McFry's mother was at Sunday's class. Her son, Cory disappeared in July near the Portage Lakefront Riverwalk. He was swimming with friends when he was swept away by currents.
That is why his mom and others were at the Lions Pavillion Park helping out Sunday.
His mom and family are encouraging others to inform themselves about how to stay safe in the open water and what to do if you do get caught in a dangerous situation.
The class emphasizes a Flip, Float, and Follow survival strategy meant to keep people’s minds from panicking, and instead focusing on those three body movements.
The class is helpful, but residents have to sign up to get them, so Cory's said she's pushing for programs like these to be taught in schools.
"It should be something that they push in the schools. It should be something they teach in health class, or gym class or swimming class,” said Cory’s mother, Christine Forystek. Or you know, and they should start from elementary school and work their way up. You keep pushing it and you keep pushing it, and you're going to save a life. At least one, if not, hopefully several."
There are also signs to look for when someone is in distress. Many people think they will be able to easily spot someone struggling, especially since movies make it look like arms are flailed and people are screaming.
But that is actually not the case most times. When someone is drowning, they can't yell. They are usually vertical, trying to doggie paddle in the water with their heads tilted back and their mouth at water level.
And you can find more information on drowning and how to protect yourself by clicking on the Big Red Bar on the WNDU homepage to get to the Center for Disease Control website.