Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category


The Otago Daily Times of New Zealand reports: More than 100 local children have been learning water survival skills and experiencing the reality of open water conditions under expert supervision.

The intensive week-long programme, a research project by Associate Prof Chris Button, Dean of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise, is aimed at filling the gap in children’s open water survival skills.

In total, almost 120 children, mainly from Dunedin, have been learning about open water conditions and experiencing them ”in a fun and engaging way”.

Fifty-seven children aged between 7 and 11, undertook the programme earlier this month, another 60 taking part this week.

The free programme covers a variety of important topics such as float and control breathing, how to attract help in an emergency, underwater swimming to retrieve an object, fitting a life jacket appropriately, understanding river features such as currents, obstacles and unseen hazards, beach games, and awareness of appropriate behaviour in the event of a boat capsizing.

Yesterday’s sessions were at Otago Harbour where experienced Swimsation instructors from Moana Pool took the group through the theory of what they would be doing in the harbour before the children entered the water to put the theory into practice.

Today’s session will involve river survival skills at Outram Glen and tomorrow the group will be learn surf survival skills at Brighton Beach.

An assessment at the Taieri College Pool on Friday will be followed by another post-assessment in about three months.

The children’s knowledge and physical competency was assessed at the start of the programme.

Prof Button, whose interest is in motor learning, says children learn well and quickly and ”hopefully, they will retain what they learn on the programme”.

He said he developed the project because previously the focus had been on children learning to swim in swimming pools and he thought it would be better for them to learn how to swim and survive in open water, such as a harbour, a river and an ocean beach.

The programme was primarily a research project and the data would be provided to Water Safety New Zealand, Swimsation and other interested organisations.



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The New Zealand Herald reports: A just-launched index has revealed New Zealand’s best and worst swimming spots – with some popular sites listed as no-go zones among almost 700 rivers, lakes, and beaches.

The updated LAWA (Land, Air, Water Aotearoa) website now features an online tool that lets people check on their local spots before they head for a dip.

The project is a partnership between 16 regional councils, the Ministry for the Environment and the Cawthron Institute.

Among around 40 spots currently listed as “unsuitable for swimming” was the pools at the top of Gisborne’s famous Rere Rockslide and 10 beach sites in Auckland.

“With the information on ‘Can I swim here?’ people can swim in our great outdoors with confidence this summer.”

Some councils also provided point-of-entry signs at popular sites, and swimmers should take notice and follow their instructions… more…

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The New – Can I swim here? app…

Stuff.co.nz reports: Swimmers in New Zealand are now able to check online or via a new app to see if the beach or river they want to visit has clean swimming water.


Regular testing at times when swimmers most often frequent bathing places, make this real-time information invaluable, setting a new standard of transparency for swimmers living in or visiting the country. More…


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Shark! Don’t Panic!!!

Shark scientist Riley Elliott tells us in the New Zealand Herold:  ‘There are three “golden rules” in the water that people can follow if they want to stay safe.

Firstly, eye contact with the shark will let it know it’s been spotted and foil any chance of a surprise attack – their natural feeding strategy.

Because this can’t be done in murky water, swimming in clear water is rule number two.

Thirdly, being relaxed and calm in your movements is important because sharks can pick up on the body’s electrical signals.

When you are surfing or ocean swimming, you are actively breaking all of these rules in the worst possible ways. No visibility, no eyesight and high heart rates.” ’

Find out more by reading the full article.

Discover how our association with the seaside evolved from a fear of sea water into a national obsession, by reading chapter three of Hung Out to Dry Swimming and British Culture: Sex, Sea and Swimming Trunks…



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Wild Swimming New Zealand

Discover where to go wild swimming in New Zealand with this new interactive wild swimming map

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Injected Oxygen Foam Saves Lives


We all need to breathe as swimmers are especially aware. Underwater swimmers can train themselves to disregard the urgent desire to oxygenate their blood and stay underwater for several minutes at a time.
See the Human Planet Video.
The New Zealand freediver David Mullins set a world record by swimming 218m underwater without taking a breath.
In the end we all have to come up for air, but a new innovation: “oxygen foam” developed by Dr. John Kheir, a researcher and emergency room physician at Children’s Hospital Boston could prolong the body’s ability to withstand non-working lungs by delivering oxygen straight into the blood.
This syringe carries life-saving particles of oxygen gas, injected through an intravenous line. It looks white and flows like water.
This new treatment could well have applications outside the operating theater. It could be used for emergency oxygenation at swimming pools and possibly enable swimmers to stay underwater for a very long time.

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A report from The New Zealand Herold into water quality for New Zealand’s monitored recreational sites on rivers, shows that 52% are unsafe for swimming.

The results showed water quality was poor or very poor at 52 per cent of monitored river sites. A further 28 per cent were graded “fair” – with a risk of illness for those swimming there and only 20 per cent of monitored river recreation sites were graded good or very good.

The report canvassed sampling from 210 freshwater beaches, including lakeside areas, and 248 coastal beaches used for recreation that had been assigned grades based on monitoring data acquired over five summers.

Coastal beaches and freshwater beaches at lakes were found to be much cleaner than river sites.

Eugenie Sage said the results fell far short of what Kiwis should expect. “It shows what a fake marketing image 100 per cent pure is, and we need to take action to make that image real,” she said. “We need strong rules and water quality standards to clean up our rivers and prevent fecal contamination from agricultural intensification.” Environment Minister Amy Adams said our water quality was good by international standards and most popular sites were fine for swimming. But she didn’t see that as good enough, saying: “My preference will always be for all our sites to be safe for swimming.” As the summer begins, Kiwis may have to travel some distance to enjoy safe water this summer.

In the UK we do not have this problem. Over the last 100 years nearly all or our river and lake swimming opportunities have been closed down. Even the picture for this article would raise suspicion  as the risk averse British see jumping in as too dangerous.

Read how the British swimmer came to be hung out to dry.

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