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Parents urged to enrol children in vital Swim and Survive lessons

Parents urged to enrol children in vital Swim and Survive lessons
January 16, 2019

With 61 drowning deaths across Australia so far this summer (from 1st December 2018 to 14th January 2019), 20 more than at the same time last year, Australia is in the midst of a drowning crisis.

Royal Life Saving Society WA is working to turn this around by ensuring all Western Australians possess vital swimming, water safety, survival and rescue skills to reduce the incidence of drowning in the community.

According to the 2017/18 National Drowning Report, 249 people drowned across Australia with 27 of these in Western Australia – with each of these deaths representing a family impacted by the tragedy of a drowning.

While there were no drowning deaths in the five to 14 years age group in Western Australia in last financial year, Royal Life Saving Society WA sees that “it is not a time to drop our guard”.

Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education, Trent Hotchkin (pictured below), explains “Royal Life Saving is committed to ensuring every child in WA has access to a Swim and Survive program, and we recognise that this task is even more important given WA’s climate and lifestyle that encourages so much activity around water. The challenge we face is to ensure each new generation acquires these skills, and that no-one misses out.”

Sean L’Estrange, Member for Churchlands and Royal Life Saving WA Swim and Survive Ambassador encourages all parents to ensure their children learn vital swimming and water safety skills.

L’Estrange added "I congratulate and thank the Royal Life Saving Society of WA for all of the work it does with its Swim and Survive program to improve child safety around water. The goal must be zero child drownings each year because one death is an absolute tragedy."

"We love our Perth and West Australian lifestyle which is surrounded by water, be it backyard pools, beaches, public pools, rivers, lakes or dams. We are never far from enjoying ourselves around the water and this is why it is vital that our children learn to swim and survive from a very early age. It is also why we must remain vigilant when watching over children around water and why it is equally important for us to know CPR and emergency first aid."

Swim and Survive is an initiative of Royal Life Saving that seeks to increase the swimming and water safety skills of Australian children in order to prevent drowning and increase participation in safe aquatic activity.

During 2017/18 199,018 children took part in the Swim and Survive program across Western Australia, learning vital skills to be safe in, on and around the water. However, there are still too many children missing out, especially those from diverse cultural backgrounds, disadvantaged circumstances and regional areas.

Hotchkin added “we are encouraging all parents to enrol their children in a Swim and Survive program at their local Royal Life Saving Endorsed Swim School, as giving children these swimming and water safety skills it’s the most effective way to eliminate childhood drowning.”

For more information go to

Related Articles

31st December 2018 - Federal Minister says number of holiday drownings is unacceptably high 

7th December 2018 - Australian Water Safety council addresses drowning among multicultural communities

26th October 2018 - Keep Watch research shows alarming scale of toddler drowning

21st September 2018 - New report reveals significant drowning risk for Western Australia’s migrant community

12th September 2018 - Drowning Deaths decrease but Life Saving bodies urge against water safety complacency

16th August 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA provides Swim and Survive program for CaLD children 

1st June 2018 - National symposium looks to synchronise swimming and water safety initiatives

16th February 2018 - Western Australian Swim Schools combine to communicate Swim and Survive benefits

8th January 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA recognises quick-thinking lifeguards

13th May 2015 - Swim and Survive program to help give Western Sydney children critical water safety skills

17th August 2015 - Swim and Survive program to aid those that miss out on water safety skills

12th June 2014 - RLSSWA Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program

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