Khaltsha youth equipped with vital swimming skils

Some of the children at the water safety event held, at Monwabisi Beach.

Water safety is no laughing matter. That is why on Saturday September 21, the Monwabisi Surf Life Saving Club, and Ikapa Sportwise Institute along with other stakeholders, held a drowning prevention and water safety event at Monwabisi Beach, Khayelitsha.

The programme was introduced to school children, particularly those living along the high-risk Monwabisi Beach coastline to increase awareness about possible drowns, danger areas, as well as to provide other important information that may decrease potential risks when swimming.

The programme was held in association with swimming clubs and the lifeguards employed by Life Saving SA, Sea Rescue, I am Water, Wave for Change, Extreme Club and Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. Although the clubs were expecting hundreds of children, only about 50 children and adults braved the rainy day to participate in the workshop which focused on how to swim, how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), awareness about rip currents, water safety and ocean conservation. Organiser Sivu Molwana said: “The weather has had a bad effect. We were expecting a lot of children from all over the metro.

“But with the bad weather few came but we had to teach them these necessary life saving aspects. They braved the weather and came and we have to do something.”

He added that it was important for parents to teach their children safety tips and that people were welcome to approach the clubs to learn more about this.

“Children should know how to swim. We want parents to know more so that they can keep their children stay safe in and near the water. We all should follow these guidelines that we provided,” he said.

Chairperson of Monwabisi Surf Life Saving Club, Siyabulela Maceba, said it was important for parents to accompany their children to the beach.

He said parents must always accompany their children so that they can be of assistance.

“We always encourage that so that we can decrease the drowning prevention. This fight for drowning prevention should be everybody’s responsibility. So it is important for parents to be part of us. We also encourage parents to visit rescue clubs and read our safety pamphlets,” he said.