Cart 0

Helping you SAFELY enjoy the Great Lakes


Who We Are

The Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium is a Community of BEST Practice, bringing together all water enthusiasts, first responders, community leaders, park rangers, research scientists, lifeguards, meteorologists, parents, survivors, loved ones, and other water safety advocates. 

Our day-to-day mission is to help people SAFELY enjoy the Great Lakes, with a long-term vision of ENDING drowning.

Not a member yet? Join us. It’s free and rewarding to help save lives.

Why We’re Here

Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children 1-4, and #2 in children under 15. Nearly 800 people have drowned in the Great Lakes since tracking began in 2010, and 2018 saw a record number of tragedies. 

We know why and what to do about it, but we need your help. Join us. Support us. Share our Lifesaving Water Safety Tips & other resources.

Tracking courtesy of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Tracking courtesy of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.


Some Stories Behind the Numbers

Behind all the data and statistics, there are stories. Families and friends live day-to-day with the never-ending grief of losing a loved one to the big lakes. Here are just a few who are near and dear to our hearts. 

Jermaine Zirkle

In 2013, 13-year-old Jermaine Zirkle drowned in a Lake Erie structural current, in only a matter of minutes. 

Matthew kocher

Matthew Kocher, 15, was earning community service hours for high school camp in 2013 when he was suddenly pulled away from shore by a Lake Michigan rip current. 

Marty Jordan

In 2009, Marty Jordan, a 45-year-old social worker on vacation from Illinois, was caught in a structural current along South Haven pier with five children. He helped save them all before succumbing to the waves.

Andy Fox

In 2003, Andy Fox, 17, disappeared beneath the waves of Lake Michigan in Grand Haven during an after-school swim and never returned. 


If you are interested in supporting our efforts, volunteer for one of our many Action Committees, and please donate to our everyday giving campaign to help fund our many ambitious water safety activities.