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Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre aids national research into drowning

Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre aids national research into drowning
February 6, 2015

The indoor pool at the Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre in Kalgoorlie is providing breakthrough research into the prevention of drowning in public pools around Australia.

Gary Johnson, Director of aquatic risk consultancy See Clearly Now has visited the centre twice in the last two years to research issues relating to drowning and pool design.

Johnson told local newspaper the Kalgoolier Miner that the design and location of the pool made it tricky for lifeguards to patrol.

Johnson explained “because there are so many curves, walls and light issues in that pool, it is a really complicated pool for lifeguards to supervise.

“Last time we were here we realised the light conditions between day and night were basically reversed.

“The best place to supervise the pool during the day is not the best place at night because the glare, which creates what I call ‘dead water’ has changed sides.”

Johnson said that findings from See Clearly Now’s research at the centre would help provide a safer design plan for architects to use around Australia.

He added “this is a very complex piece of water and I think if we can begin to understand this one a bit better, we could come up with a good plan to solve or prevent the problem elsewhere.

“We want to do some more research here with things like in-pool lighting and seeing if that takes away the glare or makes it safer.

“We want to be able to eventually show architects the best and safest way to build and design a pool to prevent a drowning.”

During Johnson’s visit last year, he also trained the Centre’s lifeguards on how to detect these ‘dead’ spots.

Johnson stated “I was a lifeguard at a pool where I lost a young boy right in front of me and we couldn’t revive him.

“So it was that event that drove me to start asking how I could have missed it. That was when I started seeing glare and these barriers where we can’t see the bottom of the pool or anybody who is in it.”

Mindful that public pools in Western Australia have not recorded a drowning since 2004, Johnson praised the local lifeguards.

He concluded “there have been some near misses here and they have spotted them and found them and it is really good.

“These guys here work very hard.”

Johnson said the key to effective patrolling was ensuring lifeguards remained on the move, rather than fixated on specific sections.

Click here to contact See Clearly Now via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory. 

3rd February 2015 - AUSTRALIAN POOL SUPER VISION TO BE SHOWCASED TO US AQUATIC PROFESSIONALS

28th May 2014 - GOLDFIELDS OASIS ENERGY EFFICIENCY WINS GOVERNMENT APPROVAL

30th July 2013 - AIMS TO LINK WATCH AROUND WATER PROGRAM WITH OTHER ANTI-DROWNING INITIATIVES 

14th November 2008 - FIRST COUNCIL FLOWRIDER OPENS


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