Over the past weekend, NSRI responded to three drowning accidents involving children – two incidents occurred on the coast and one on an inland dam.
In total two children drowned (age 9 and 13), two were hospitalised for secondary drowning and one (age 11) remains missing, feared drowned.
Both coastal incidents took place during supervised school outings to the beach and these tragic accidents have again highlighted the necessity for basic water safety precautions.
The NSRI has appealed to schools, and parents, across South Africa to educate children to be safety conscious around water and to always ensure responsible adult supervision for children around all water including swimming pools, rivers, lakes, dams and at the beach.
Supervising teachers should be adequately prepared to deal with an emergency.
Statistics from The Medical Research Council show children up to the age of 14 are most at risk from drowning in South Africa.
The festive season is around the corner and the tragic loss of children’s lives this weekend is a stark reminder to us all. You should only swim where lifeguards are on duty.