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World Drowning Prevention Day

Water Safety Day on Sunday is a follow up to the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopting a resolution on drowning prevention on 28th April 2021, which will see the 25th July observed as World Drowning Prevention Day in order to promote awareness and encourage national action.

The UN General Assembly encouraged all countries to take action to prevent drownings, which have caused over 2.5 million deaths in the past decade, over 90% of them in low-income and middle-income countries.

“A UN Global Drowning Prevention Resolution and a UN International day to focus the world’s attention on drowning will help to put the spotlight on these tragedies which are preventable. Importantly it also commits the South African Government to take actions to prevent drowning”, said Andrew Ingram, the NSRI’s Acting Director of Drowning Prevention. “The old adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’ couldn’t ring more true when it comes to drowning. With drowning, it is often not possible to ‘cure’ the damage done. Prevention, therefore, is a major focus area for the NSRI, the only maritime rescue service operating in Southern African waters”, added Ingram.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity organisation that saves lives on South African waters – both coastal and inland. Our goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives. Follow @SeaRescue on Facebook or visit.

Each year in South Africa there are approximately 1 500 fatal drownings of which 350 are children. Drowning is a leading cause of child mortality with about a third of the fatal drownings being children under the age of 14. The vast majority of these deaths could and should have been prevented.

“The NSRI is proud of the difference that we have made in helping to reduce the number of drownings in South Africa in the last 15 years.

  • Teaching water safety in schools around the country: In total our 20 full-time water safety instructors have reached just under 3 million people (mostly primary school children) with our lessons on how to be safe in and near water as well as how to do bystander CPR”, added Ingram.
  • Pink Rescue Buoy campaign: To date, the NSRI’s public rescue devices have been used to rescue 72 people with no harm to a rescuer and all rescues that were attempted were successful. Currently, there are over 900 Pink Rescue Buoys deployed around South Africa.
  • Survival Swimming programme: Professional instructors and volunteer instructors give free lessons to children, teaching them how to control their breathing, orientate themselves in water, float and propel themselves at least 5 meters through the water.

USEFUL REFERENCES

Lifesaving South Africa @LifesavingSA #LifesavingSA is a leading South African organization in the campaign to prevent drowning, Lifesaving South Africa (LSA) is committed to reducing the burden of death and disability by drowning. Their 3500 active lifeguard members perform over R50 million worth of voluntary lifeguarding duties along our coastline and inland waterways annually.

The Child Drowning Prevention Handbook – The essential guide to swimming pool safety 

Sea Rescue South Africa

Water Safety Day Sunday

See also Cape Town Green Map