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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.

2024 Survival Swimming Locations 

Here's the organized information:

Survival Swimming Locations: April and May 2024

Eastern Cape:

Western Cape:

KwaZulu Natal:



Free State:


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


Sunshine coast swimming 1440x500
SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 23 July 2024

Sunshine Coast swimming programme empowers communities with lifesaving skills

The Sunshine Coast Survival Swimming Programme was established in response to a devastating incident that shook the Kenton on Sea community.

Survival swimming 1440x500
SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 26 April 2024

The privilege of saving lives

As the ‘23/’24 Survival Swimming season draws to a close, we take a look at the very first volunteer Survival Swimming venue, the Sea Point Pavilion in Cape Town, which is still going strong.

Outdoor pool 1440x500
SURVIVAL SWIMMING  | Published: 27 March 2024

POP! goes Survival Swimming

The NSRI, in collaboration with Fluidra South Africa, are piloting a new type of pool – POP! – one that, if successful, will see even more children around the country learn life-saving swimming skills.

Survival Swimming long street 1345
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…

Nsri school swimming centre 1440x500
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.