Splash Palace to host free water safety workshop

With summer fast approaching, the community are being invited to attend free water safety workshop to prepare for a summer of safe swimming.

To mark Water Safety Month this November, Invercargill’s aquatic centre Splash Palace is working with Drowning Prevention Auckland to offer specially tailored free water safety courses to the community.

Invercargill City Council Manager Aquatic Services Stephen Cook said, following an incident at Splash Palace last month in which a child needed to be resuscitated on the poolside, they wanted to provide an educational opportunity for the community on key skills for people to keep themselves and their whānau safe in the water.

“Any incident in the pool can be distressing for our staff and the community, and while we were incredibly lucky in this situation, thanks to the quick actions of our lifeguards and a member of the public, it has served as an important reminder of the risks when swimming,” Cook said.

“Coming into the warmer months, we know the community loves to get out and about in the water and we need to remember to stay vigilant and how especially important it is to support our tamariki who are just learning to swim and build confidence in the water.”

The free workshop will give parents, caregivers and swimmers tips on how to stay safe in and around the pool and other bodies of water, how to recognise and rescue someone in trouble, and how to administer first aid.

“A huge part of what we do, as a community-owned facility, is promote safe swimming and we’re pleased to be able to offer this workshop for free,” Cook said.

“Accidents can happen at any time but we want to ensure everyone has the best knowledge to assure that when accidents do happen, we are suitably prepared.”

The workshop will be hosted by Aquatic Research Educator Josh Carmine from Drowning Prevention Auckland, who has previously delivered training to the Splash Palace staff.

Carmine is a registered paramedic and has an extensive Surf Life Saving background with nine years’ experience in the professional and volunteer lifeguarding environment along Aotearoa’s east and west coast beaches.

The workshop will run for 1.5 hours, and will take place in the First Fifteen Lounge at Rugby Park on 7 December at 4pm.

To register for the workshop, email bookingsandevents@splashpalace.co.nz with the number of people attending. Places are limited.

As well as the workshop, Splash Palace offers swim school for children, which teaches them water safety and confidence in and around the water, and for adults who are wanting to learn to swim or wanting to improve their technique. Registrations are open for Term One of 2024 and you can sign up by emailing swimschool@splashpalace.co.nz.

Anyone who signs up for Term One of swim school, starting in February 2024, will go in the draw to win a year of free swim school for their family.