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P.O. Box 593
Hurley, NY 12443
(845) 331-3383
Copyright 1999-2001. Riptide is a non-profit organization.

Children's Ice Drowning Prevention Workshop

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death to children in the United States, and a leading cause for adults. There are well over 70,000 near drowning incidents annually, making drowning a serious concern to everyone. Ice drowning-incidents often claim the lives of both victims and free-lance rescuers, bystanders who attempt to help. Ice incidents also put the lives of responding fire, police, and EMS personnel at risk. Ice related-drowning is a common cause of drowning in the winter, and is one of the simplest kinds of drowning to prevent.

RipTide is dedicated to drowning prevention for lay people and rescuers. We believe one of the most important places to start is with children, parents, and teachers. Children need to understand the possible consequences of going on to the ice without adult supervision and permission. Both children and adults need to know what to do if they see an ice accident victim, to prevent additional unnecessary ice fatalities. Parents often run out on the ice after children who have fallen through. Children and adults die every year going out to help dogs in the ice. There are many steps witnesses can take, from calling for help, communicating with the victim, taking a range, marking a spot on shore, to reach and throw rescue techniques.

The founders of RipTide, Walt Hendrick and Andrea Zaferes, have created a two hour seminar for children ages four and up.

The mission is to teach children, parents, and teachers: The average size group is 30-50 children with parents or teachers.

The workshop takes place in a gym or other large room where children can crawl around the floor, learning self-rescue skills. Parents and children also work on basic reach and throw skills. Children draw pictures as well, to increase the learning and retention process.

We invite you to help and become part of our volunteer efforts to prevent another needless, tragic death. What we need: With your assistance we will make sure everyone involved knows about your kind and generous support. We welcome one or more representatives from your company to tell participants about how your company cares about the safety of children.

We have provided a rough outline and notes (click here) in a printer friendly format that you can use in your own programs or you can bring us in to conduct the program while we simultaneously teach you how to conduct it.

Best of success and thank you for caring! Together we can save lives.

Walt "Butch" Hendrick and Andrea Zaferes
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