Port Lincoln VACSWIM session provide water safety

LESSON: Kate Blacker and Georgia Pedemonte provide children with some important lessons to stay safe around the water during a VACSWIM session in Port Lincoln in January. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
LESSON: Kate Blacker and Georgia Pedemonte provide children with some important lessons to stay safe around the water during a VACSWIM session in Port Lincoln in January. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

Earlier this year a group of local and visiting children were provided with valuable lessons to be safe by the water thanks to sessions provided by VACSWIM.

About 110 children took part in VACSWIM sessions across five days in Port Lincoln, which included on the Port Lincoln foreshore where instructors informed on water safety skills.

This included activities involving safety techniques, floating and survival strokes.

Instructor in charge Kate Blacker said it was great to see so many children involved and there was a noticeable build in confidence from the children who took part.

She said for a coastal city like Port Lincoln, these skills were important ones for children to learn.

"Each year there are a lot of drownings and kids learning how to swim is an important skill to have," she said.

"At the end of the week we're seeing that they can swim independently and have a lot more confidence around the water."

Janine Alderdice was visiting Port Lincoln from Adelaide with her daughter Makayla taking part in VACSWIM while they were there.

She said her daughter taking part in VACSWIM was really beneficial.

"We do swimming lessons in Adelaide but with VACSWIM, because it's five days straight, every day they learn so much and it's so much different in the sea," she said.

SWIM: Makayla Alderdice takes part in one of the swimming drills in the swimming enclosure at the Port Lincoln jetty. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

SWIM: Makayla Alderdice takes part in one of the swimming drills in the swimming enclosure at the Port Lincoln jetty. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

The Port Lincoln Surf Life Saving Club is working to get a Nippers program started in Port Lincoln to continue to teach these skills to young swimmers.

Surf life saving club junior coordinator Georgia Brazenall said the club looked to extend the window of opportunity for children in the community to learn these life saving skills.

"The benefit of the VACSWIM program is that it provides an opportunity for kids to get out into the ocean to learn water safety in an open water environment and while this is an amazing event that happens each year, it's only 1-2 weeks you get this opportunity," she said.

"So the work Port Lincoln Surf Life Saving Club is doing is to initiate a Nippers program is important because it will extend this opportunity over a few months in the summer season."

People can find out more about club updates on the Port Lincoln Surf Life Saving Club Facebook page.