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GLIN==> DEADLY GREAT LAKES RIP CURRENTS SUBJECT OF REGIONAL CONFERENCE



NEWS RELEASE
For Release:   IMMEDIATELY

For More Information: 
Gene Clark, Wisconsin Sea Grant Coastal Engineering Specialist, (715)
394-8472
James Lubner, Wisconsin Sea Grant Marine Safety Specialist, (414)
227-3291
Ron Kinnunen, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Agent, (906) 226-3687
Chuck Pistis, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Agent, (616) 846-8250

Event Web Site: www.miseagrant.umich.edu/workshops/rip_conference04.html

DEADLY GREAT LAKES RIP CURRENTS SUBJECT OF REGIONAL CONFERENCE

MADISON, Wis. (4/1/04)-Rip currents at Wisconsin's Great Lakes beaches
can be as dangerous as those at ocean beaches, overpowering even the
strongest swimmers.  Preventing drownings from rip currents is the focus
of the Great Lakes Rip Current Conference, April 29 at Little Bear Arena
in St. Ignace, Mich.

Gene Clark, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant coastal engineering
specialist, will attend the conference and will serve afterward as an
information resource for Wisconsin beach managers, park superintendents,
life guards and beach goers.  UW Sea Grant Marine Safety Outreach
Specialist Jim Lubner also provides information about rip currents.

In 1999, more than 23,000 rescues at U.S. beaches were related to rip
currents, according to the United States Lifesaving Association.  It is
estimated that nearly 100 people drown each year from rip currents.

Rip currents form when strong winds or large waves push water up on
shore.  It then rushes back to sea in a powerful flow 30 to 100 feet
wide. 

If caught in a rip current, swimmers should not panic, Lubner said.
They should swim parallel to shore until they are out of the current and
then swim toward shore.

The conference will cover what is known about rip current mechanics,
wind and wave conditions associated with drownings, ways to educate the
public, and other key topics, according to conference organizer Ron
Kinnunen, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Agent in the Upper Peninsula.

The registration fee for the conference is $15 through April 25, $25
afterwards, and includes lunch, breaks and conference materials.  To
request a disability accommodation, contact Ron Kinnunen by April 15 at
(906) 226-3687.

For additional conference and registration information, visit the
conference website at
www.miseagrant.umich.edu/workshops/rip_conference04.html or contact
Michigan Sea Grant's Ron Kinnunen, phone (906) 226-3687, or Chuck
Pistis, phone (616) 846-8250.

# # # #

Conceived in 1966, Sea Grant is a national network of 30
university-based programs of research, outreach, and education dedicated
to the protection and sustainable use of the United States' coastal,
ocean, and Great Lakes resources.  The National Sea Grant Network is a
partnership of participating coastal states, private industry, and the
National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

www.seagrant.wisc.edu

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