In the first of its kind in the country, the Western Cape Government commissioned the South African Medical Research Council to develop a drowning prevention and water safety framework.
The framework is a collaborative project including input from many water safety stakeholders in the Western Cape. The framework determines and assesses high risk areas and seeks to develop mitigation strategies to decrease the drowning in targeted population groups and areas. It then highlights prevention efforts that are currently being implemented and others that may be considered appropriate for the prevention of drowning in the province.
Dr Colleen Saunders, who co-ordinated the Water Safety Task Team that provided input to the Western Cape Strategic Framework for Drowning Prevention and Water Safety, said the key to the success of the project was its collaborative nature. Many stakeholders including Lifesaving South Africa, the National Sea Rescue Institute, Western Cape Government, and the academic community, were key contributors to this project.