Bunbury Sea Scouts host vital Swim and Survive sessions

22 February 2017

WA’s South-West region has benefited from its first ever Swim and Survive program in inland waterways, with 16 young people learning vital skills last weekend in Bunbury's Leschenault Inlet.A group of young people in the Leschenault Inlet with a rescue boat

Inland waterways continue to be the leading location for drowning deaths in Australia, with 1000 people losing their lives to drowning in our rivers since 2002. This accounts for ¼ of all drowning deaths. While children are often taught Swim and Survive skills in enclosed environments it’s also vital for them to have a practical understanding of how to adapt these skills to open water locations, allowing them to act with confidence when faced with a survival situation.

This is especially important with recent flooding in WA’s rivers, including the Blackwood River in the South-West, creating potentially deadly conditions for young people wanting to use the rivers for recreational activities.

Last weekend’s program, hosted by the Bunbury Sea Scouts, was conducted at the Leschenault Inlet by a Royal Life Saving community trainer, with those involved receiving a Swim and Survive / Bronze Rescue award. Viv, John and Steve from the Bunbury Sea Scouts provided invaluable assistance with the program, not only providing the venue, facilities and use of rescue boats and personnel, but also sharing their water safety knowledge and understanding of local conditions.

The 16 program participants are now equipped with the knowledge and judgment they need to keep themselves and others safe in all waterways, and are equipped with the skills and confidence needed to respond should they be faced with a variety of emergency situations.

This Swim and Survive in the Leschenault Inlet program was conducted as part of Royal Life Saving's Respect the River campaign, which is funded by the Federal Government and aims to raise awareness of the many hazards that underlie our rivers, lakes and streams. Similar Swim and Survive programs are being held at other inland waterway locations in the coming weeks, and we encourage all young people to take part as it is a fantastic way to refresh your knowledge of water safety in a new and dynamic environment, whilst also having fun!

Find out more at the link below.

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