Monday, June 24, 2024

Beach safety program saving lives in Lake Macquarie

Thousands of local school students will be better prepared for the summer beach season thanks to a Lake Macquarie City Council education program.

Council lifeguards are scheduled to visit almost 80 schools across the City in the winter months as part of the ‘A Matter of Seconds’ program, teaching 7500-plus students about water safety, first aid, beach rescues and basic CPR.

Speaking prior to a session at Swansea Public School on Thursday, Team Leader Beach Lifeguards, Troy Ham said the program was aimed at students in kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 6, with a multimedia element to help get the message across.

“It’s great to be back in schools after COVID-19 forced us to cancel the program in 2020,” Mr Ham said.

“And we’re really excited this year to also be visiting three local high schools. Providing beach safety tips to older kids who might be more likely to overestimate their abilities in the surf is a really valuable opportunity for everyone.”

Mr Ham said first aid training provided during the A Matter of Seconds sessions was important not just at the beach or pool, but for day-to-day life.

“Every year we hear stories from teachers and kids about what we taught them and how they put it into place throughout the year in different situations,” he said.

Swansea Public School Principal, Brett Carr said the workshops were a valuable extension to Council’s online ‘A Matter of Seconds’ resources.

“The Matter of Seconds water safety education program is a fantastic way for young people to learn about keeping themselves and others safe in and around our waterways,” he said.

Lifeguards will continue the education program until the 2021-22 beach season kicks off in the September school holidays.

Go to for more information about the Matter of Seconds program.

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