Written by Ozaukee Press
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 18:00
There are plenty of spots available for a beach safety class that will be held Sunday, June 23, on Port Washington’s lakefront.
Following a 9 a.m. meet-and-greet session, the class kicks off with classroom instruction at the Legion Hall on Lake Street from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Instruction will then move to the north beach, where participants will go into the water to practice what they’ve been taught from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The class, which has been tailored to reflect conditions at Port Washington’s beaches, will be taught by instructors from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, which is working to improve lakefront safety throughout the Great Lakes.
Instructors will explain how the winds and structures along the beach — everything from rocks to the breakwater — impact the current and waves.
They will discuss the currents present along the Port beach and how to deal with them, how to use the Flip, Float and Follow strategy if people get caught in them and how to use flotation devices to help those in need.
Participants will also be taught the effects of cold water on swimmers and how to recognize the signs of drowning.
Divers from the Port Washington Fire Department will be on hand during the beach portion of the class to ensure the safety of participants.
The class costs $30, which includes both the classroom and water instruction. Class size is limited to 40 for the water portion of the program.
There is no fee for people who only want to attend the classroom session or who plan to observe the water instruction from the beach.
People taking part in the water instruction will have to wear wetsuits since the water temperature is hovering around 50 degrees.
EOS Expedition Outdoor Supply of Sheboygan will provide wetsuits for the class at a cost of $10 to $25. To reserve suits, people are asked to call the company at (920) 208-7873.
Advance registrations may be done by calling Benjamin at (708) 903-0166 or visiting www.glsrp.orgclasses.
The class is being presented by the Port Washington Waterfront Safety Advisory Committee — an initiative prompted by the drowning of 15-year-old Tyler Buczek last Labor Day weekend.
It is only one aspect of the committee’s safety initiatives, which include installing signs displaying water conditions, life rings, a series of cameras and call boxes along the lakefront and a WiFi system on the beach.
A variety of safety booths, music and food will be available from organizations that include the Coast Guard, Department of Natural Resources and YMCA in Veterans Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.
Donations to help fund these initiatives will be accepted during the Sunday class.