On the 17th of October 2013 Idas valley Primary School payed special tribute to Selvin Heyns, a grade 5 learner who drowned in a farm dam. Selvin will be remembered as a friendly and lively boy with a cheerful smile. He treated all his fellow peers with respect.
On the 2nd of August 2013, Selvin’s ball fell into the farm dam. He went to retrieve it and never made it back to the shore. His friends tried in vain to rescue him, but soon they realise that they were also in trouble and had to save themselves.
Desiree Pinetown, NSRI’s WaterWise Academy Instructor in the Winelands has this advise:
“Never ever jump in a farm dam to fetch a ball. You are risking your own life. If you get caught in the mud it is hard to get out. If a friend gets caught in the mud or gets into difficulty in the water use a stick or piece of clothing or a towel to pull him out. If this does not work do not go into the water yourself. Rather call 10177 for help. At the WaterWise Academy we teach that your own safety comes first. We always make sure that we are safe and then we do our best to save the person in trouble without endangering our lives.
“Beware of farm dams! The water is often deeper than you think and mud can be sticky and trap you. There are also other obstacles in the water that make swimming or playing in them dangerous. Rather choose to swim in a swimming pool where there are lifeguards,” says Desiree, as she taught the Idas valley primary school children about water safety.
Desiree brought a message of hope to the children and taught them the WaterWise PLAN OF ACTION. They now all know what to do in an emergency and are confident that they will be able to rescue a peer without placing themselves in danger.
Desiree advised: “Once you have started with CPR continue until help arrives. Push hard and fast.”