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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that is critical to know how to do in many emergencies such as drowning. Donnalee 11, from Ceres was 8 years old when she drowned in a farm dam. “Four boys saved my life by doing CPR on me, I can’t remember anything about it, but my friends say that they pulled me out of the water and rescued me,” she explains.

She further explains that older boys saw her lying unconscious next to the water. They had been taught how to do CPR two years before in their primary school by an NSRI instructor. “When they saw that I was not breathing they started doing CPR on me like they had been taught in the NSRI Water Safety lesson. They say I suddenly gasped and started breathing again.” she adds.

With an average of 1500 people drowning in South Africa each year, the importance of teaching as many people as possible to do bystander CPR is critical. 16 October 2021 marks World Restart a Heart Day - which highlights this need.

Jill Fortuin, Executive Director of Drowning Prevention at the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) says that their Water Safety Education Program has taught over 3 million people critical lifesaving skills such as CPR and what to do in an emergency since the program started in 2006.

Water safety lessons are crucial as they equip individuals with skills that could potentially save a person's life,” adds Fortuin.

“There are more stories like Donnalee and they are testimony that drowning prevention methods are key within our society,” concludes Fortuin.

NOTES TO EDITORS

You can watch Donnalee’s story on YouTube

It just costs R10 a child to teach them Water Safety lesson, donate now and you could be saving a life.

Media Queries:

Kuhle Mkize

Communications & PR Manager

Email: kuhle@searescue.org.za | Cell: 078 1189 609

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