It’s easy to make and cheap, and it may just save lives this summer! We’re talking about an innovative new rescue buoy designed by the National Sea Rescue Institute as part of the Waterwise Project.
The NSRI hopes this new device will help keep especially children from rural communities safe when they go swimming in rivers and dams. This project is being rolled out in a few towns in the Western as well as Southern Cape, but may become a fixture elsewhere too should it prove to keeps kids safe.
The buoys are made of three litre plastic milk bottles, weighted down by a bit of sand which is then attached to a ten meter long rope. Andrew Ingram from Waterwise says if a child gets into trouble while swimming, a friend can literally throw him a lifeline. According to Ingram it often happens that when one child gets into trouble, others follow in an attempt to help, with tragic consequences.
Research has shown that those most at risk of drowning are children from poorer, rural communities.
The WaterWise Academy is the educational initiative with a vision to proactively prevent drowning tragedies. It includes providing safety lessons to children, teaching peer rescue and basic Hands On CPR on the school premises – all at no charge.