Throughout history children have faced danger when in and around water. Better parental supervision, clear warnings of specific dangers and in some cases swimming restrictions have all played a part in reducing the risk, but life saving education is without doubt the best precaution against disaster.
beginning in 2017 all schoolchildren in the Australian province of Victoria will be required to swim 50 meters straight and show in-pool survival skills beginning in 2017, according to the Herald Sun.
The Herald Sun had been pushing for these learn-to-swim programs in schools as a result of 43 drowning deaths in Victoria this year and a 40 percent rise in fatal drownings. Research from Life Saving Victoria found that three out of five students could not swim by the time they finished primary school.
The Herald Sun reports: Brodie Morris, 12, …almost drowned in the Murray River two years ago. “We nearly lost him,” said his dad, Brett. “It happened in a split second. We’re really lucky that someone pulled him up. He could have been another statistic. He’d been to swimming lessons before but he hadn’t picked anything up.”
After the 10-week program at Shepparton’s Aquamoves pool, Brodie, from Kyabram, was swimming a dozen laps with ease. Even waking up earlier for the 40-minute trip to the pool didn’t faze him. “We were amazed how he went. He was motivated, he was fantastic,” Mr Morris said.
Mr Taylor said the goal was to teach every Victorian child to swim at a satisfactory level within a decade.