GRAND HAVEN — Water safety within the Great Lakes area is at all times a sizzling subject, particularly as drownings alongside the West Michigan shoreline appear to be changing into extra frequent.
There have already been 84 drownings within the Great Lakes this 12 months, based on information from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, up from 64 right now final 12 months.
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Bob Moore of Friends of Grand Haven State Park seen the drownings had been rising and determined to do one thing about it.
“I just recognized that the state was struggling with a solution to this issue,” he mentioned. “And the solution to almost every problem is education.”
Moore reached out to Tim Wheeler of Wheeler Creative Studios, and so they partnered to craft a kids’s book on water safety within the Great Lakes. Wheeler has written many kids’s safety books on varied matters via his firm, Cartoonversation, the place the mission is “to rescue childhood.”
“If there’s any topic that makes it hard for a 9-year-old to be a 9-year-old, we cover it,” Wheeler mentioned of Cartoonversation. “And who’s talking to the 9-year-old?”
The book, titled “When in Doubt, Don’t Go Out!” is the primary in a deliberate sequence of three books. The first book covers what Wheeler mentioned the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium considers the primary of three areas to focus on relating to water safety — keep away from drowning, escape drowning and safely save others.
The book begins with a enjoyable story explaining the historical past of the Great Lakes and the way they had been shaped. At the top of the story, there are water safety info and questions for youngsters to get them serious about water safety.
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Wheeler defined in addition they determined to make the book a “flip book,” in order that while you flip to the again, the identical content material is accessible in Spanish.“Even if you bury the beach in all kinds of warning signs, they’re all in English,” Wheeler mentioned. “In the summer, we have this huge migrant population, and the beach is something they can do with their families.”
Moore and Wheeler each mentioned that lots of the drownings we see are individuals coming from out of city who simply don’t perceive the hazards of the Great Lakes.
Dave Benjamin from the GLSRP agreed that we see many drownings of individuals from out of city, and that it’s our job as native residents to guard them.
“We invited them,” he mentioned. “We have a higher duty to protect.”
Copies of the book can be found on the Grand Haven State Park.