Water Safety

Matthew Kocher, age 15, drowned on July 27, 2013 in Lake Michigan at the New Buffalo City Beach. Matt was not educated about the dangers in Lake Michigan and he did not know what to do if caught in a rip current. Matt was 6’4″ and a strong young man, but he was no match for the power of the rip current. The senseless loss of Matt has been devastating to his family friends, teammates, teachers and coaches.

Drowning is 100% preventable.

In schools today there are fire drills, tornado drills, shooter drills, and even earthquake drills, but more school aged children will die drowning each year than in fires, tornadoes, school shooters and earthquakes combined.

It is time we make water safety a priority, especially for our children! Education is the vehicle necessary to drive effective change and save lives.

Most of us learned to swim in the controlled environment of  a park district or school swimming pool. These pools have smooth and solid bottoms, there are no waves or currents flowing within. Open water is an ever-changing setting with waves, currents, sandbars, drop-offs and other dangerous variables we are not aware of. We need to be educated in the potential dangers of the open water. There needs to be an understanding that the impact of wind direction on waves is important, as well as how structures in the water and sand bars influence potentially dangerous currents.

The Matthew Kocher Foundation has partnered with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, G.L.S.R.P., to promote water safety and save lives. Go to the G.L.S.R.P. website http://glsrp.org and click on “water safety.” G.L.S.R.P. is an excellent resource for water safety information and education, as well as delivering water safety presentations to a wide range of audiences, ages 4 years to senior citizens. The Matthew Kocher Foundation has funded G.L.S.R.P. presentations to over 32,000 area high school students, as well as to community organizations.

We are very passionate about water safety education for open waters as well as swimming pools. Drowning tragedies are 100% preventable through education! We want you and your loved ones to stay safe. Our goal is to help establish a water safety education program in every school’s wellness curriculum.

Click here to see a vast list of the numerous Water Safety Presentations that have been given over the years!

Water Safety Presentation at Richards High School April 13, 2015