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At the beginning of 2020, the NSRI launched its Survival Swimming Programme, which teaches children the basic skills to stay afloat should they find themselves in difficulty in the water.

The initiative came about after several stories emerged involving children drowning a metre or two from safety. They would not have needed to swim 50 metres to survive; they would only have needed to know how to move as little as five metres through the water to get to safety.

Our squads, made up of full time professional instructors and volunteers who want to share their joy of swimming with children, visit public swimming pools to teach the basics of survival swimming:

During one of our pilot programme sessions, it took just one two-hour lesson, for four instructors to assess and upskill 55 children.

These lessons are offered free of charge and are organised with the kind permission of facilities’ officers and by appointment.

In this section

The NSRI has three core Drowning Prevention programmes – Water Safety Education, Pink Rescue Buoys and Survival Swimming – and offers a range of free resources and educational materials.


“What drives me is knowing the Survival Swimming skills we teach, not only can save a life one day but will also change the lives of generations to come.’’

Caville Abrahams, Drowning Prevention Regional Team Leader


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SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 5 December 2023

Survival Swimming Lesson Locations | NSRI Summer Safety

Dive into safety this summer with NSRI's Survival Swimming lessons! Join us across South Africa to equip yourself with life-saving skills. Learn essential techniques to stay safe around water. Don't just enjoy the summer, embrace it with confidence.

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SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 27 October 2023

Survival Swimming season is here

The NSRI’s free Survival Swimming classes will be equipping children and adults with lifesaving skills around the country this summer. Read on to find a class near you…

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SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 27 September 2023

Reaching new heights

The fifth NSRI Survival Swimming Centre was delivered to Steilhoogte Primary School in Vredendal this month, making lifesaving water safety skills accessible to the entire community.

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SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 24 April 2023

Making headway: Survival Swimming Programme update

As the season draws to a close, Drowning Prevention Project Coordinator Nazreen Adams shares some highlights and gives us an update on her team’s progress.

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SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 28 March 2023

WATCH: KZN school receives Survival Swimming Centre

In January, Duduzile Junior Secondary School on the South Coast became the recipient of the NSRI’s third mobile Survival Swimming Centre.

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SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 28 March 2023

Licence to swim!

Residents of a rural community in the Eastern Cape recently celebrated the awarding of certificates to 67 locals who have completed the NSRI’s Survival Swimming training.