Lifesaving skills in carnival spotlight

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph
Pilabra students make a splash at the fourth annual Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival in South Hedland
Camera IconPilabra students make a splash at the fourth annual Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival in South Hedland Credit: North West Telegraph

Hundreds of students have made a splash at one of the region’s biggest annual swimming and lifesaving events.

Students from nine schools across the region took part in the fourth Pilbara Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival at South Hedland Aquatic Centre, showcasing their swimming and lifesaving skills on Thursday and Friday.

Students from Roebourne, Marble Bar, Warralong, Yandeyarra, Port and South Hedland took part in the event organised by the Royal Life Saving Society WA and funded by principal community partner BHP.

The children took part in water polo, synchronised swimming, rope rescues, mannequin tows and kickboard competitions, as well as traditional swimming races.

RLSSWA senior manager swimming and water safety education Trent Hotchkin said he hoped the children would make a real difference in the future of their communities.

“This is an opportunity for them to come together and showcase those swim and survive skills that they have learnt,” he said.

“From a Royal Lifesaving perspective, we want every child to be able to access swimming and water safety skills. We know that particularly kids from regional WA and the Pilbara are missing out on accessing vital swimming skills.

“We encourage the broader community to go along to their local swimming pool, get involved in what they offer and particularly swim and survive programs.

“Our message always is that anyone can be a lifesaver.”

Overall Aboriginal Australians are 1.4 times more likely to be involved in a drowning incident than other Australians, according to Royal Life Saving Society data.

In all, 111 drowning incidents involved Aboriginal Australians across the State between 2007 and 2017, 23 of which were fatal.

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