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Water safety presentation tonight in Chesterton open to all

A lifeguard at Whihala Beach in Whiting pulls swimming buoys from Lake Michigan in August.

CHESTERTON — Learn how to stay safe while swimming in the Great Lakes during a presentation tonight at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

One hundred people have drowned in the Great Lakes this year, more than any other year since the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project began tracking drownings in 2010. 

In all, 723 people have died in all five Great Lakes since 2010, the project's data show.

In Lake Michigan so far this year, 33 people have drowned.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project will talk about water safety during a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2050 W. 1100 North in Chesterton. The presentation is hosted by Chesterton Girl Scouts Troop 30373.

The presentation is for everyone, including beachgoers, surfers, lifeguards, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, water rescue team members, dive team members and the U.S. Coast Guard, said Dave Benjamin, co-founder and executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

The presentation will include information about drowning statistics; the signs of drowning; survival strategies, including "flip, float, follow;" how, why and where dangerous currents occur; basic water rescue; and basic water resuscitation.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.