water safety Coast Guard Commander on Great Lakes Retires Today By Elizabeth Miller • Aug 2, 2017 ELIZABETH MILLER/IDEASTREAM The first woman to lead the Coast Guard district that covers the Great Lakes is retiring Wednesday. Staying afloat: Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrates 75 years By Joe Linstroth • Feb 26, 2014 Courtesy of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Listen Listening... / 13:40 The weather is cold outside, but the boating season is not that far away. In just two months, many boaters will be out on the water. Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project Works to Reduce Drownings By Gretchen Millich • May 10, 2012 Photo courtesy of East Lansing Fire Department Eighty-seven people drowned in the Great Lakes last year. That’s tragic and unacceptable, according to Bob Pratt. In 2007, Pratt founded the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project and started training surfers in lifesaving techniques.