Advocate wants to draw more attention to water safety after 9-year-old girl drowns in Lake Michigan

Photo credit Lizzie Maher/Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- This week's drowning of a 9-year-old girl in Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana has one advocate calling for water safety to become the next major public health issue.

Dave Benjamin, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, wants water safety to get the same attention as other safety issues.

He said that's especially true for children.

"It's likely more school-age children will die drowning than by fires, tornadoes, schools shooters, and earthquakes combined."

Benjamin recommends only going into Lake Michigan at beaches with lifeguards on duty.

He also said people need to pay attention to warning signs and flags, never allow children to swim without close supervision, and wear a Coast Guard-approved flotation device to help keep your head above water if you get into trouble.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Lizzie Maher/Getty Images