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Archive for the ‘Water Safety’ Category

silhouette of girl running on the seashore during golden hour

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The Courier Mail reports: ALL state primary students will be taught vital swimming and survival skills as part of an Australian-first program to start in schools next year, after a campaign led by The Courier-Mail.

Under the plan to make Queensland the “Water Safe State”, students at all state primary schools would now have a water safety and/or learn to swim program from 2019.

The Queensland Government will commit $3.68 million annually – an increase of $2.18 million per year – to expand swim programs, which will comply with national standards set by the Australian Water Safety Council.

Principals in remote locations will be given funding to fly in external providers including lifesavers for intensive programs.

Teachers will also be upskilled so that water safety lessons can be taught in classrooms as well as pools.

All schools will be audited as part of the program, to see where improvements need to be made.

The SOS campaign was sparked by warning from experts about a generation of kids who couldn’t swim to save themselves. More…

Comment: Children especially seek out open water when summer temperatures rise. As global warming reaches around the globe, lifesaving education is good news to parents who cannot be with their children around the clock. See: From lifesaving Education to None at all.

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Swim Safe Lessons St Ives

Pirate FM News reports: Children are being urged to ‘Swim Safe’ in St Ives this summer.

Sessions are underway as part of the national programme that teaches kids outdoor swimming and water safety. The lessons are open to 7-14 year old’s over the summer holidays. The aim is to make sure children know what to do if they do get into trouble in open water. Watch the video…

Comment: Training children to Swim Safe in open water is the first step in reintroducing safe swimming and preventing needless drowning in England. The next step is to establish safe bathing places on river and lakesides, so that these swim safe skills can be reinforced.

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Swim Safe for Children in open water

The Manchester Evening News reports: Kids can once again join in FREE open water swim safety sessions at Salford Quays this summer.

Around 1,000 children benefited from the classes last summer and this year even more spaces are available.

There’ll be 1,400 free one-hour sessions up for grabs for kids aged seven to 14 – including families, friends and school groups.

And each child that takes part gets a T-shirt, a cap and a keyring to take home too.

It’s all part of Salford Community Leisure’s Swim Safe campaign and classes are held at the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre in Salford Quays between July 30 and August 31. More…

Visit the hung out to dry website

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The New Indian Express reports: After learning swimming over the vacation period, 91 kids swam across the Periyar here in Aluva thanks to the Valassery River Swimming Club’s free of cost training. The aim was to prevent incidents of drowning in the state’s waterbodies. The group learned swimming under the guidance of coach Saji Valasseril and his colleagues in two months.

Since the District Collector had issued a caution, as the shutters at Bhuthathankettu dam were opened, the children swam only 300 metres from Malappuram Kadavu to Shiva Ksetram Kadavu.  About 465 students came here for swimming lessons this summer. The youngest was Niya Rose, 6, from Kadungalloor. Adults were also given training since January, with 190 people enrolling for classes. However, only 63 finished the training by crossing the Periyar. The oldest was T V Sunny, a retired bank manager living near Aluva Powerhouse.

This year, the swimming training begun by teaching actor Tini Tom and making him cross the river. The event was flagged off by municipality counsellor A C Santhosh Kumar. Municipality chairperson Lisy Abraham greeted the students at the temple side and distributed trophies and certificates to them.

 

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Abbey Park Lido

Abbey Park Lido

The Leicester Mercury reports: Fancy a dip in open water in this weather? To me, the mere thought of a swim in icy cold water brings me out in goose bumps – but, there are those who take the opposite view!

There was a time when British swimmers once filled the lakes and waterways of England.

But things changed and these intrepid swimmers soon found themselves chased out of the water and “rounded up and confined to indoor swimming”.

Some years back, an article I featured concerning swimming in Abbey Park prompted reader Chris Ayriss, of Western Park, to contact me about a book he had written on the history of swimming, Hung Out to Dry.

Mr Ayriss’s book “traces the demise of a swimming empire”.

It also reveals “why the swimmer has been chased out of the water”.

There is a chapter on Leicester and it shows that the Abbey Park was, at one time, used as a venue for major swimming competitions.

The author gives many instances of large-scale gatherings, especially when connected with the Abbey Park Show and told me that “on show days, thousands would travel to Leicester to see the swimming events. They would line the bank of the river to cheer on their heroes in the long distance swims, of both a mile and half-a-mile.

“One report speaks of an afternoon of solid rain not dampening the enthusiasm of thousands of spectators watching the proceedings, which were the biggest draw of the show. One thousand six hundred seats were provided for the spectators at a cost of 6d each.”

Apparently Leicester also had a fearsome reputation in water polo and “these raucous events had a great following”.

One match, against Derby, brought a whole trainload of supporters with it and generated as much excitement as we would see at a big football match today.

The site of the old water polo matches can still be clearly identified by the steps in Tumbling Bay, adjacent to the footbridge in the centre of the park.

Mr Ayriss wrote: “Despite the fact that children were encouraged to swim elsewhere, they continued to use Abbey Park until a prohibition order chased them out of the water in 1959.

“The Medical Officer of Health reported that the river was polluted to such a degree that it was unfit for bathing.

“Since then, great improvements have been made regarding water quality and when I checked with the Environment Agency, the city waters were listed as of ‘good quality’ and are now suitable for bathing.”

Other places in England with waters of similar quality have encouraged children to swim.

They have taken simple health and safety precautions such as having a lifeguard in attendance, dredging and rodent and algae control.

Mr Ayriss suggested similar steps could be taken in Abbey Park, and asked: “Could we not reopen the gates of the footbridge so lives of children are not put at risk? Could we not take down the signs that prohibit swimming and station a lifeguard instead of a warden on the riverbank?

“At one time, Leicester led the way when it came to the encouragement of swimmers. Perhaps now is the time to do something positive to remove the dangers of swimming rather than the swimmers!”

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New Picture (11)

The Evening Standard reports: Birds Eye was forced to drop a fish finger advert after concerns raised by cold water swimming campaigners.

The frozen food giant ran a TV advert showing a man and boy jumping into the sea to a voiceover that said: “Captain Birds Eye loves the simple things, like jumping into cold water on a hot day with his grandson.”

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But a campaign group set up after a 14-year-old boy died from cold water shock claimed the advert was inappropriate.

The firm took the advert off air and agreed to amend the voiceover.

Cameron Gosling, from Cook, died in July 2015 from after going swimming with his friends in the River Wear.

While his friends paddled in the river and acclimatised their bodies, Cameron jumped in. The cold water shocked his body and, despite his friends trying to save him, he died.

The teenager’s family and Durham County Council later launched the Dying to be Cool campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of swimming in cold water.

His mother, Fiona, contacted the company to say she was “shocked” when she saw the advert.

She added: “It seemed as though Birds Eye hadn’t done its research before making it but I’m grateful that they agreed to change the advert and at how quickly they acted.”

And the council also called on the firm for the advert to be changed.

A letter written by written by Jane Robinson, chair of Durham City Safety Group, and Kevin Lough, chair of Durham Open Water Safety Group, said: “Jumping into water can result in cold water shock which is a major factor in drownings.

“Most waters in the UK are of a temperature which would induce cold water shock all year round.

“Durham City Safety Group and Durham Open Water Safety Group therefore ask that you do not continue to suggest jumping into cold water on a hot day is safe.

“This behaviour is not a ‘simple thing’, it leads to many fatalities and we ask that you reconsider this messaging.”

A spokesman for the firm said: “At Birds Eye, we take our advertising responsibilities very seriously and we were grateful to be made aware of this issue.

Swim Safe

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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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