May is National Water Safety in part because drowning is among the top 5 causes of deaths in the world. And tragically, it’s in the news often. Out of tragedy though, good can arise. Like the water safety lessons hosted by Andrew High School.
Last summer, Matthew Kocher drowned in Lake Michigan. His parents, John and Kathy Kocher, partnered with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project to educate the teenagers at Andrew High School.
Part of the lessons included the “flip, float and follow” strategy:
- Swimmers in trouble should flip onto their back and float to stay above the water
- Keep calm
- Conserve energy
- Follow the safest course to safety
To follow the safest course to safety, simmers need to swim with the current. If it is a dangerous current, figure out what direction it’s pulling you in and swim perpendicular to it. Once you’re safely out of the current, swim towards the shore.
If the swimmer is too tired to reach the shore, they should continue to float and signal for help.
Another way the Kocher family is helping to raise water safety awareness is by ordering gold and black wristbands that say “flip, float and follow.” Gold and black are Andrew High School’s colors.
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