Fiji Time: 1:03 PM on Friday 27 November

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Council rep: Know your swimming abilities

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CHILDREN and adults should know of their swimming abilities, says Fiji Water Safety Council rep Bronwyn Soko.

Ms Soko's comment comes as the country records it fourth drowning death just 15 days into the new year.

This time last year there was just one death by drowning.

Ms Soko said children and parents must keep open communication lines regarding the subject.

She said they must be mindful of where they would be swimming, how safe the area was and they must know of their own swimming abilities.

"The onus is on the children to inform their parents of their whereabouts and parents are to supervise their children at all times," she said.

"If the parents do not want their children to go swimming, then it is only right to organise other activities that will keep the children away from swimming spots".

Ms Soko said it was worrying to see the numbers of deaths caused by drowning increasing almost every year.

Australian Olympic swimming champion Shane Gould echoed Ms Soko's sentiments, saying three questions that one should ask when going for a dip are:

* Who will I watch and who will watch me?;

* How deep is the water?; and

* Is the water moving?

Ms Gould and her husband Milt Nelms, also a world expert swimmer, have over the past seven years been organising swimming lessons for interested individuals in the country.

Ms Gould, who learnt how to swim in pools, rivers and the sea here in Fiji, has been travelling to villages and schools to conduct swimming lessons.

She said it was always wise to swim in numbers because they would always be able to look out for each other.

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