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As the holiday season approaches, shock-drowning figures show SA turning a blind eye to unsupervised swimming

Neelam Rahimneelam@radioislam.co.za

2 min read
04 December 2022 | 3:35 pm CAT

Lifebuoy floating in the vast expanse of sea

Shock drowning figures have shown that the country is turning a blind eye to unsupervised swimming. A new study has found that more South Africans drown at inland sites than in the ocean. This includes swimming pools, canals, old mine dumps and even water tubs. The National Sea Rescue Institute’s study indicated that infants and toddlers aged 0-4 years are most at risk.

The drowning figures of children from the wealthy and middle class through to the disadvantaged areas read at the same ratio despite the different challenges faced in each.

Speaking to Radio Islam International Sea Rescue Institute, Celeeve Robertson said the overriding message is that children, who are our country’s future, must be looked after and supervised.

He said average national drowning figures annually read at 1477. Ninety-two percent of all drownings in South Africa occur in inland provinces.

Meanwhile, young adults, mainly males, face the risk of drowning due to their swimming ability in South Africa, as many cannot swim to survive.

Risk-taking behaviour in young adults often relates to alcohol.

“The consumption of alcohol impairs both mental and physical capacity and is a huge risk factor in drowning,” he says.

Listen to the interview with Aanisah Essack and Celeeve Robertson on Radio Islam’s podcast.

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