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Lifeguards get summer training for beach season

(WNDU)
Published: Jun. 18, 2018 at 7:20 PM EDT
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"You always want to flip, float and follow to get out of a drowning situation," lifeguard Rosie Wuerfel said.

Area lifeguards – taking the day off the stands to learn more about the water.

"We were doing some escapes and releases. There may be a time when a lifeguard may go in the water, and hand off their rescue tube to somebody but now somebody else is in trouble," Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, said.

It's situations like this that Dave, and his partner Bob, want to make sure lifeguards can handle.

"What we want people to know, especially lifeguards, is that a drowning victim is fighting for their life. It's nothing personal but they may climb all over you," Benjamin added.

In 2017, their organization tracked 88 drownings in the Great Lakes – 42 were in Lake Michigan.

Training's like these are a simple effort to save lives this summer.

Wuerfel has been a lifeguard for three years at Silver Beach.

"The main thing, especially at Silver Beach, we get a lot of people not from this area," Wuerfel said.

She said a lot people confuse the Lake with the ocean… that's a big difference.

At Silver Beach, she said the waves come in every two to three seconds…

"So, if you get hit with a wave, you go under, you come back up there's going to be another wave hitting you."

She added there more time between waves in the ocean, every 10 to 15 seconds.

If you find yourself in a bad situation in the water, the biggest thing to remember is don't panic.

And, if you're looking to be a lifeguard this summer, New Buffalo is still hiring.

They will also provide training for those who need it.