Water Safety Workshop Proves A Hit

Over 60 people from the Chinese community recently had a first class introduction to beach safety at a special workshop at Toowoon Bay on the state’s Central Coast.

The workshop is part of an ongoing educational campaign by Surf Life Saving NSW and other stakeholders to ensure that safety messages are delivered to the wider community, and that everyone is able to enjoy the coastline safely.

While it is a popular perception that the bulk of drownings off the NSW coast happen to tourists, the reality is it’s often those living in Australia who get into difficulty.

In recent years there has been a consistent effort to identify which groups are most at risk of drowning with males aged between 15 and 65 years (both Australian born and oversea born) being disproportionately represented in the drowning statistics according to the National Coastal Safety Report 2015 by Surf Life Saving Australia.

Last Sunday’s workshop was targeted at the Chinese community living in the Hornsby Shire region and was supported by SLSNSW, Surf Life Saving Central Coast, Community Migrant Resource Centre and the Australian Asian Cultural Association.

The Central Coast was a natural fit as host as many living within the community prefer the short trip up the M1 for rock fishing and other coastal activities. Men, women, and children all took the opportunity to attend the workshop hosted by Toowoon Bay.

“It’s one of the best events that I have ever been involved with throughout my time in surf life saving. The response to the work shop was marvellous and it was just a fantastic day,” said Chris Manning – President of Toowoon Bay SLSC.

“People don’t often realise the challenges of different beaches so to be able to pass on this information to not only the Chinese community but the wider community is something that we view as really important. I think everybody from our club and those participating got something out of the day.

“It was a pleasure to be involved and is definitely something we would like to do again if the opportunity arose,” he said.

During the workshop the participants were taught useful tips of where to swim at the beach, the role of the lifesaver, and what to do if you get into difficultly. They were also shown how to identify rips and witnessed the different rescue techniques and skills before getting the chance to hit the water themselves.

Tue 19 Apr 2016