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Newcastle
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Students surf online to learn about water safety

Professional lifeguards remain dedicated to teaching water safety as thousands of Lake Macquarie students surf online to undertake an educational program.

During the cooler months, Lake Macquarie City Council’s lifeguards usually attend more than 65 primary schools to teach children about beach and water safety.

However, Manager for Leisure Services, Brad Sutton, says that the program is no longer possible this year due to COVID-19.

“School is back in, but face-to-face visits by our lifeguards is not possible in the current situation,” he said.

“We knew the need would still be out there to teach students water safety, first aid and other vital skills covered in our ‘A Matter of Seconds’ program, so we’ve moved very quickly to shift the training to an online format.”

A series of videos will educate students in Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 6 in CPR basics, beach flags, identifying and escaping rips and providing first aid to someone suffering from an asthma attack.  

Larry the Lifeguard teaches kids about his job in Lake Macquarie City Council’s ‘A Matter of Seconds’ video series.

Children and their parents can also listen to lifeguards read beach-themed books as the council and Lake Mac Libraries launch their online story-time series ‘Books at the Beach.’

“These are challenging times, but we’re doing what we can to keep our community enriched and educated,” Mr Sutton added.

“Responding so quickly like this ensures our long-standing, successful partnership with local schools continues in 2020.”

More than 65 Lake Macquarie primary schools involved in the ‘A Matter of Seconds’ safety program will be invited to include the video series as part of its Term 2 curriculum.

Visit Lake Macquarie City Council’s website to view the video series.

-Tia Thomas