Frog Hollow kids learn important river safety skills

26 February 2022

Royal Life Saving WA’s Steve Waterman, who is the Pool Manager in the remote Kimberley community of Warmun, recently taught some vital river safety tips and skills to the children of Frog Hollow.

Steve and his wife Aisyah visited Purnululu Aboriginal Independent Community School in the Frog Hollow Aboriginal community, which is around 30km south of Warmun. Steve presented a River Ready talk at the school before they all headed out for a practical lesson at a real creek environment.

“With 20 kids participating, and teachers and teacher’s assistants there as well, it was a great turnout,” said Steve. “In the classroom, we discussed some of the dangers at the creek including water colour, depth and checking with a stick, crumbling edges, and how it can be slippery. We also talked about crocodiles and submerged objects like rocks, logs, fishing line and wire.”

Frog Hollow boys practising a rope throw rescue at Second CreekAfter the classroom session they visited Second Creek to put into practice what they had learnt. “Second Creek, as it is known to the locals, is one of their favourite swimming spots,” Steve said. “We thought it would be a great place to talk about water safety and do some rescues. Once there we talked about the Aqua Code and always swimming with someone, when in trouble to float on your back and wave, and always try a reach or throw rescue first before jumping into the water to help someone.

Frog Hollow students at a River Ready lesson“We got into small groups with the bigger kids and little kids working together to perform the rescues, which included reach rescues with noodles and throw rescues with rope and kickboards. After the rescues we put on lifejackets in the water and practised the HELP huddle.

“A big thanks to all the teachers and assistants, they were amazing. It’s great to see the Frog Hollow kids refining their rescue skills and also the little ones getting involved. It was an awesome day, and I can’t wait to visit the school again!”

In the hot Kimberley climate, many locals regularly flock to rivers and creeks to cool off. Unfortunately, the Kimberley region also has the second-highest drowning rate in the state, with over half of all drowning incidents occurring in rivers and creeks. Royal Life Saving WA is working to address this through its River Ready program, which provides vital river safety education to school aged children. 

River Ready is part of the Royal Life Saving Respect the River campaign, which is funded by the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and the Australian Government. Learn more about the campaign at the link below.

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