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Flip, Float & Follow: 3 things to remember in a water emergency

Posted at 7:13 AM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 08:18:27-04

KENOSHA -- As the temperatures warm up, leader in Kenosha want to remind swimmers not to jump off of the piers.

Leaders with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project report there were 42 drownings in Lake Michigan last year alone. Leaders are trying to teach people water safety.

During the entire week of spring break, Kenosha's YMCA is offering free swim safety lessons.

The message is to Flip, Float and Follow in a water emergency.

If you're stuck in a rip current, first flip on your back. Float to conserve your energy. Then, follow a safe path out of the water.

The aquatics director at the YMCA hopes they hear this message multiple times.

"We're making sure every kid who comes to our swimming lessons at least hears not to jump from the pier in Kenosha," said Beth Volbrecht, Kenosha YMCA adding how tough last year was for the community, "It's hard to hear about people dying in our lakefront and have a connection to people you know?"

The Kenosha Safety Around Water Coalition was created to show this tragedy can happen at any age.

This includes a father who drowned while rescuing his child from the waters, to a teen jumping off the pier to take a class photo.

Volbrecht explains what the hold up may have been to get the lifesaver throw rings on the pier, "The actual pier is the Army Corps of Engineers. We had to do government documents they had to go back and forth to wait for approval."

She also explains the idea of creating mile markers along the shore, "It would just be a way to have ems be able to respond quicker to say, 'I'm by the marker that says 73 and my son just went under water.'"

She hopes people will come out to an event Saturday, May 11 where they will learn how to use those important items they are adding to the waters, "You don't want the first time you ever try it for it to be in an actual emergency."

This includes a $1,000 fine if anyone were to steal these life saving tools.