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Lezhaé Snyders recently represented the NSRI in several expos to encourage students and young adults to consider a career in water safety and drowning prevention. We caught up with her to find out what the response was like.

Water, a source of joy and recreation, can quickly turn into a silent killer. Drowning remains a significant global issue, claiming countless lives each year: especially in South Africa, where the drowning rate has been described as an epidemic.

A career in drowning prevention and water safety offers an opportunity to make a meaningful impact. For youth today, considering such a career path can not only save lives but also provide a rewarding and fulfilling journey dedicated to safeguarding communities and promoting water-related wellness.

NSRI technical assistant Lezhaé Snyders recently attended career expos at Eikendal Library, Retreat Civic Centre, and the New Apostolic Church in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town, to encourage students and young adults to consider a career in water safety and drowning prevention.

expo

By all accounts the presentations were well received: “The youth took a lot of interest, asked questions, took magazines to find out more, and also website and contact information. They were so excited, and many immediately applied to join the NSRI as a volunteer. Some of the attendants are still high school students and wanted to know what the age requirements are. One of the moms even asked if she could volunteer with her son!”

Opportunities within the NSRI include qualifying as a water safety instructor, who gives talks and demonstrations – at schools, for example – about how to stay safe in or near water and what to do in an emergency, or a Survival Swimming Instructor, who teaches basic life-saving skills such as breath control, orientation in the water, floating and propulsion (moving through the water to safety)… A Drowning Prevention Instructor is qualified in both Water Safety and Survival Swimming instruction.

Volunteering at the NSRI is a great launching pad for a career in water safety. “Volunteering is especially good for full-time students or those who are employed already, but want to give back, or just figure out if a career in water safety is something they would enjoy,” says Lezhaé. “If they are happy and comfortable with this role, and feel they can commit to it full time, they can then apply for a permanent position once one becomes available.”

Lezhaé herself started her career in 2019 by monitoring the NSRI’s beach safety cameras, assisting with admin, then started teaching Survival Swimming Lessons, and assisting with Water Safety education and attending expos. “I love swimming and being in the water, and I know that water can be dangerous too. Considering the high number of drowning incidents per year, I love doing what I can to make a difference.”

expo

If you would like to volunteer with the NSRI or enquire about a career in water safety and drowning prevention, send an email to survivalswimming@searescue.org.za.


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