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Safety First as City of Newcastle Lifeguards Prepare Students for Summer


City of Newcastle Aquatic Operations & Education Specialist Chris Griffin (left) and lifeguard Sam Biddle (right) with students from Waratah Public School following today's Water Safety Program.

Thousands of local primary school students will be better equipped to take a dip this summer thanks to a City of Newcastle program that has been saving lives for more than 50 years.

 

City of Newcastle lifeguards attended Waratah Public School today to educate more than 300 Kindergarten to Year 6 students in preparation for this year’s swimming season.


The program is based around teaching preventative measures, basic fundamentals of water safety and how to enjoy yourself safely around water.


Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said with temperatures set to soar this week, it is important to ensure the next generation knows how to cool off without getting into hot water.


“Newcastle beaches attract more than one million swimmers and sun-seekers to our picturesque coastline each year, but behind the stunning beauty lies the inherent risks they can present," Cr Nelmes said.


"Since 1966, our incredible team of lifeguards and aquatics staff have been utilising their skills and experience to empower children and adults with the knowledge they need to stay safe at our beaches, ocean baths and pools.


"Our free Water Safety Education Program is delivered to over 45 primary schools across Newcastle each year, educating more than 13,000 children about dangerous water conditions, how to swim safely and what to do if they get into difficult situations."


The program is delivered during winter and spring each year, with CN's lifeguards committing more than 700 hours during an eight-week period to promote the crucial water safety and drowning prevention messages across the city.


Almost 150,000 students have been engaged in the program during the last decade, with CN taking the program online through a digital presentation during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure no-one missed out on the key water safety messages.


City of Newcastle Executive Manager Community and Recreation Lynn Duffy said delivering the program is one of the highlights of their year for many CN lifeguards.


"The delivery of the program is a significant component of CN’s overall approach to water safety, and one of the most significant youth engagement programs we undertake," Ms Duffy said.


"Our lifeguards are passionate about sharing these life-saving lessons with children across Newcastle, which will help minimise the risk of children getting into dangerous situations and prevent aquatic accidents and drownings."

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