To begin with, the children were shown pictures of the various flags that can be seen when using the beach. The swimming teachers were very impressed with the children’s knowledge. They were also asked whether they should enter the water to save a dog which had fallen into a lake through ice, or their friend who might have fallen into the water and couldn’t swim. The answer in both cases should be a resounding ‘no’. The correct course of action is to go and get help immediately.
Once in the water, the children had to swim a length in their clothes, but if they found this tricky, they could flip over and swim on their backs. Next, they had to tread water with a float with their knees tucked up and the float wrapped to their chest, which is the correct position to conserve heat, enabling them to survive in the water for longer.
Then, the children all moved into the boom pool and stood in a circle, before all walking around in the same direction. When the whistle blew they had to change direction. The look on the children’s faces when they realised that they couldn’t move was priceless! This activity mimicked the current in the water and how difficult it is to move against it.
Finally, they created two lines in the boom pool and had to ‘pull’ the water upwards. This created the effect of a choppy sea, which two children (one from each line) had to swim down.
The children really enjoyed the experience. Even the nervous swimmers were able to take part, with the help of a woggle, and all of the children learned a valuable lesson in water safety.