Australia and swimming go hand in hand, but many forget that the water can be dangerous if not treated with respect, a lesson that many are now learning as drownings sweep the country.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
With the number approaching twenty deaths, tragic drownings have occurred since Christmas in Australia, and many believe the number of deaths that have occurred could have been prevented with water safety.
The latest victim to the dangers of the water is two-year-old Vera Peacock, who drowned in a pool at Macquarie Fields on January 1 after she disappeared for some minutes on New Year’s Day.
Mick O’Sullivan, the president of the Mudgee Indoor Swim Club and a leading authority on swimming and water safety in the region, is devastated that these drownings have happened, and urges parents and swimmers to follow basic water safety.
“It’s a tragedy, from the gates left open to the children perishing in a backyard fishing pond, and I think that a lack of warnings and a lack of skills is what lead to this,” he said.
“A lack of skills is everywhere now, you go down to the Mudgee pool and you’ll see half a dozen kids floating around in these lovely pink vests keeping them up – but it doesn’t teach them to swim.”
Mr O’Sullivan, who is a nationally accredited swimming coach with ASCA, said he was shocked when he heard that more than a dozen children had died in the water.
“A lot of what we get from parents is that they say ‘I can’t teach my own child’, but it’s not just strokes and skills that teachers need to teach,” he said.
“If teachers were as firm on not going in the pool and staying away from the water as they were on things like crossing the road, there just wouldn’t be as many deaths.”
“It’s a silent danger, the water, and there’s not enough respect for it which results in what is basically a lack of care, a lack of vigilance and a tragedy for the parents for the rest of their lives.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.