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Drowning detection system to be rolled out at Singapore’s 11 public pools
Following an extensive trial, national agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) is to progressively implement the Poseidon Drowning Detection System at all of its 11 public competition pools and 28 aquatic centres.
The installation was announced in Parliament last Friday (8th March) by Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who advised "using a network of overhead infrared cameras, the system enables early detection of possible drowning, thus making our pools safer."
The introduction of the Computer Vision Drowning Detection System (CVDDS) follows an extensive trial that saw it put through over 1,400 tests, and scenarios such as different weather conditions and unusual drowning positions.
During the trial, the system was credited with preventing the drowning of a 64-year-old man at the Hougang Swimming Complex and a teenage girl at the Kallang Basin complex.
To be installed at a cost of SG$500,000 per pool, the CVDDS separates the pool into grids and uses software to analyse the real-time trajectories of swimmers. Lifeguards will be alerted within 15 seconds of someone sinking to the pool base.
SportSG Deputy Chief Executive Dr Chiang Hock Woon said the detection system will enhance lifeguards' rescue efforts through early detection.
He explained “our ultimate goal is to use technology in surveillance for all ActiveSG water facilities. For a start, the CVDDS will be progressively implemented nationwide at all our competition pools."
Dr Chiang also stressed that CVDDS is not meant as a substitute for swimmers taking precautions at public pools, adding “we would like to reiterate that the system or any technology does not replace the need for pool users to be responsible for themselves or their loved ones whilst using our facilities.
"We look forward to working together with our communities to promote stronger safety awareness and culture, and strive for zero incidents."
Commenting on the installations, Delphine Fong, SportSG's Sports Safety Director, said the agency relied on statistics compiled over 30 years in making its decision to install the CVDDS.
She advised that from 1989 to 2017, there were 41 drowning incidents at Singapore’s public pools - 39 deaths and two near-drownings - with two thirds happening at competition pools.
Fong explained that drowning swimmers are often unable to signal their distress, advising “passive drowning victims... lapse into unconsciousness, and typically don't exhibit signs of struggle (before they) slowly sink to the pool base.
"In the case of active drowning, victims will use their arms to try to press (the surface) of the water to keep their head above water."
The CVDDS will be installed in 11 competition pools across Singapore by April 2020 and implemented in the remaining pools later.
For more information, click here to contact Maytronics Poseidon, the Australasian distributor of the CVDDS, via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.
Images: Hougang Swimming Complex (top) and the CVDDS system in operation during its trial in Singapore (below).
12th March 2019 - Second International Swim Schools Spectacular to be staged in Singapore
14th February 2018 - New Global standard released for public swimming pool drowning detection systems
9th June 2015 - US swimming pool incident highlights how people drown quietly
18th August 2014 - New OCBC Aquatic Centre encourages water safety and elite performance
24th April 2013 - Anti-drowning detection system assists with first Australian life saving
23rd May 2012 - Poseidon launches detection system for wave pools
3rd August 2011 - Singapore’s national water safety program introduces open water module
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