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For Sea Rescue’s dedicated Water Safety and Survival Swimming teams, returning to face-to-face classes couldn’t have come soon enough. But being vigilant and safe, and agile and adaptable to the possibility of future changes are still top of mind. We catch up with the instructors and have also included a helpful video that shows how to look after the Pink Rescue Buoy in your area.

“It’s great to be back in the classroom!”

A little over a year ago, education in all its forms was turned on its head. Anyone involved in instruction had to adapt and adapt quickly – this was true for both teachers and learners. As schools closed, our water-safety instructors had to go online, and get creative too, as much of the effectiveness of water safety instruction is being able to demonstrate physically what needs to be done to be safe near water, or how to help a friend in trouble.

Few could have guessed that what was initially a temporary emergency precaution would last for so long. A month of lockdown ended up being two, then three, and so it went on. Water safety instruction continued online, via social media and slots were opened up on regional radio stations and some instructors even secured TV slots where they could chat directly to the public. It was a different approach, but it also provided a time of learning, and refining and redesigning teaching methods and visual aids.

Now, more empowered that ever, our instructors are back in the classroom teaching children to be safe near water, showing them bystander CPR, and telling them what to do in an emergency – all in line with Covid-19 best practice.

"The Covid-19 pandemic continues to change things, so it’s important for all of us to be flexible and adapt. We definitely prefer to do water safety presentations in a school environment and the children enjoy the engagement and practical demonstrations. And to see the children learning these skills really touches our hearts,” says Simone Bantam, a water safety instructor from Paarl in the Cape.

National water safety team leader, Eoudia Erasmus is equally happy to resume face-to-face teaching: “It has been so good to be back at the schools after so long.” Eoudia has been with the team since it was introduced as WaterWise in 2006, and she is happy to report that since then 2 885 911 children have been taught vital water safety lessons.To organise a water safety instructor to visit your local school, please email Eoudia@searescue.org.za. If you’d like to arrange an industry instructor to visit your company or organisation, please email yaseen@searescue.org.za.

Survival Swimming launches in Riebeek ValleyThe roll-out of Sea Rescue’s Survival Swimming programme also suffered a number of setbacks due to Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns but our group of resilient instructors didn’t need a second invitation to launch our 13-lesson Survival Swimming course at the Riebeek Valley Special School in Riebeek Valley. Every afternoon, from Monday to Thursday, instructor Petro Meyer teaches the students the four skills associated with survival swimming. The first group of students showed great interest and enthusiasm and we anticipate they will complete their 13-lesson course before the winter season begins to cool the air and the water.For more information or to enquire about becoming a volunteer instructor, email survivalswimming@searescue.org.za.Help us look after the Pink Rescue BuoysWe’re appealing to all members of the public to keep an eye on the Pink Rescue Buoys in their area. If you’re walking past one, check to see if it’s in working order so that it can be ready to be deployed in an emergency.Take a look at this video to see how to fix the harness on the buoy so it remains secure on its pole.If you see that there’s something wrong with the buoy, please email pinkrescuebuoys@searescue.org.za or send a WhatsApp message to 079 802 6773.https://www.nsri.org.za/2021/0...

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