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To address specific water-related occupational hazards, the NSRI’s Drowning Prevention Department designed the Water Safety for Industry or WS4i course. Recent graduates were able to put the knowledge and skills gained from the course to good use assisting two stand-up paddlers to safety.

The V&A Waterfront’s Canal District has become well known among tourists and locals. The canal that links the V&A to the Cape Town Convention Centre has hosted The Little Optimist Challenge, offers sightseeing tours and has become a popular place for stand-up paddlers to practise their paddling.

The canal passes the Marina Residential Estate whose employees recently took part in a WS4i workshop. On Sunday, 12 November the estate’s controller, Charné Bassadien, saw a paddler on the canal who looked like he was in trouble after falling off his board. While conditions were fair, the paddler’s ill-fitting life jacket appeared to hamper his attempts to get back on his board. His paddling partner was unable to help him.

Charné, realising the paddlers needed help fast, raised the alarm and she and fellow employee Thamsanqa Kuta put their learnings into practice. They used the TRETHROG method of performing a rescue in the exact order that it was taught at the WS4i course. TRETHROG stands for Talk-Reach-Throw-Help-Row-Go. From the CCTV footage, one can see the Marina Estate employees verbally encouraging the casualty to kick and move closer to safety, finding a long pole that was then used to reach the casualty and pull him to the safety of the steps leading at the edge of the canal. The casualty was then helped out of the water.

The NSRI Drowning Prevention Department would like to congratulate the Marina Estate employees on performing a successful rescue while also keeping themselves safe.

WS4i success story

More about WS4i

WS4i is a bespoke safety solution for those working in and around water. “The Water Safety For Industry course can be described as a version of NSRI’s Water Safety lessons for adults, but is tailored to speak directly to the prevalent dangers in a specific industry or working environment,” explains NSRI’s Drowning Prevention Coordinator Yaseen Gamiet.

The course looks at what people do on a daily basis, and the specific occupational hazards around the work being done. The course content is decided after a fact-finding discussion between the NSRI and the company involved.

By the end of the WS4i course, participants should exhibit a sufficient level of water safety knowledge and practical ability, including being able to rescue a peer safely, rescue oneself, perform simple and safe rescue techniques with basic equipment and being able to perform bystander CPR in the event of an emergency.

Any companies or organisations whose staff work in or around water may contact the NSRI on 021 434 4011 or to find out more about the Water Safety for Industry Course.

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