May is Safety Around Water Month. The Kenosha Safety Around Water Coalition Continues to Raise Awareness and is Offering Tips To Keep Our Community Safe in and Around Water this Summer.
Tip #2: FLIP, FLOAT & FOLLOW
“Flip, Float, and Follow,” is a campaign to help people remember how to successfully escape a variety of drowning accidents including dangerous currents such as rip currents, long-shore currents, and structural currents, all which can occur at Kenosha’s lakeshore.
Like “Stop, Drop, and Roll”, a simple fire safety technique taught to children as a component of fire safety week to extinguish a fire on a person’s clothes or hair, “Flip, Float and Follow” can be an effective psychological tool to focus on in order to avoid panic in a terrifying situation.
“Flip, Float, Follow” Drowning Survival Strategy is a simple way to stay safe if you are ever caught in water over your head or in a dangerous current. To perform this strategy you
- Flip over onto your back and float.
- Float to keep your head above water.
- Float to calm yourself down from the panic and fear of drowning.
- Float to conserve your energy.
- Follow the safest path to safety / out of the water.
Never swim against a current. If you are in a dangerous current, assess which way it is pulling you. Then swim perpendicular to the currents flow until you are out of it and then swim toward shore. If you are too tired to swim to shore, continue to float and signal someone on shore for help. Also, the waves may eventually bring you back to shore.
Dave Benjamin, Great Lakes Surf Rescue project co-founder and executive director of Public Relations and Project Management (https://glsrp.org/) explains that people need to understand that when you get to the point of having a panic attack or become exhausted, you need to do the opposite of your instinct. Your instinct is to fight to survive. However, you need to flip over onto your back, float, and follow where the current takes you- while you are relaxing and trying to get some deep breaths in. As long as you are floating, you are alive and buying time for rescue to arrive.
To learn more about about the Flip, Float, and Follow Drowning Survival Strategy and the important work of the Great Lakes Rescue Project, visit https://glsrp.org/ or contact Dave Benjamin at [email protected] or call 708-903-0166
Learn more about the Kenosha YMCA’s swim programs or water safety initiatives.
The Kenosha Safety Around Water Coalition meets monthly and works together to raise awareness around issues of water safety. Our mission is to create a culture of healthy respect and safe enjoyment of water in the Kenosha area through education and advocacy. Our current focus is Lake Michigan Safety. Our goal is to change the culture by educating students, parents and the general community that jumping from the pier and swimming in Pike River and Pike Creek is dangerous and life threatening. The Kenosha YMCA has hosted a monthly Safety Around Water Coalition meeting, made up of community members from all sectors, to keep the focus on raising water safety awareness year-round. Members of the coalition include representatives from the Kenosha YMCA, City of Kenosha Fire Department, City of Kenosha Police Department, City of Kenosha Aldermen, Village of Somers, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Kenosha County, Carthage College and concerned citizens.