LSV’s Open Water Learning Experience program travelled regionally throughout Term 4, 2016 and Term 1 this year to teach water safety to nearly 4000 students in their local waterways.
In total, LSV Education Instructors visited students from 64 regional schools across Victoria to equip them with water safety skills, including how to assist others in an emergency.
Recent statistics reinforce the importance of delivering water safety education in regional communities, with a 64 per cent increase in the drowning rate of those residing in regional areas in Victoria in 2015/16, compared to the 10 year average.
LSV Education Program Development Coordinator Melissa Laird said the Open Water Learning Experience provides vital knowledge to ensure students understand the potential dangers found in and around their local aquatic environments.
“Sadly there were 10 drowning incidents in inland waterways and 20 drowning deaths in coastal waterways last financial year (1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016),” she said.
“LSV aims to address this issue by empowering children with knowledge on how to be water ready when in and around their local waterway.
“Open waterways and conditions change every day. Practical strategies, such as identifying dangers and reading key safety signs, all work to ensure students have the tools to ‘be aware and prepared’ and help prevent drowning incidents.”
With a focus on what to do in an emergency and a wide range of age-appropriate and engaging real life scenarios, Ms Laird hopes the program gives students the confidence to become Everyday Lifesavers.
“Experience shows that teaching students what to do in an emergency, including the emergency response sequence DRSABCD, can have a major impact on their actions if they are ever faced with an emergency situation,” she said.
“We also teach safe rescue strategies to ensure participants not only have the confidence and skills to help someone in trouble, but also to ensure they don’t put themselves in danger.”
For a snapshot of the program, click on the below image to watch a WIN News story on the OWLE program at Lake Narracan in Gippsland.