Beach Survival Challenge raises water safety awareness

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jun 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-21 05:52:40-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- The Beach Survival Challenge event came back to Grand Haven State Park today.

The event was started 12 years ago in honor of Andy Fox, who lost his life in a rip current. The event was created to raise awareness of water safety along Lake Michigan in a fun, educational atmosphere. Since its inception, over 3,000 kids and adults have participated.beach survival challenge

As part of the challenge, six-person teams competed in activities such as tug o' war, beach soccer, ultimate frisbee, and the Beach Survival obstacle course.

Participants and attendees received educational information on beach and pier safety from organizations such as the U.S Coast Guard, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, the National Weather Service, and 911 Dispatch.

EMS Manager Warren Billett told Fox 17 that one of the best ways to be safe when trying to save someone is to be aware of your own abilities and strengths in the water. Also, to always grab a flotation device before attempting a rescue.

The U.S. Coast Guard also featured a live water rescue demonstration with their rescue helicopter.

New this year, the North Ottawa Community Hospital held a cold water rescue demonstration.

Cold water safety demo.

Cold water safety demo.

Click here to go to the official Beach Survival Challenge website and learn more.