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Schools Safe Boating Education Programme Underway

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Over the next two weeks at least 300 school children will be undertaking the Wellington Ocean Sports safe boating programme. Recreational boating is the number one cause of drowning in New Zealand and Wellington Ocean Sports are leading the charge to address this. Although swimming is quite rightly a high priority when considering the drowning statistics, most children will make it through the education system without receiving any safe boating education.

When you consider that over 90% of those that drown can actually swim there are clearly other factors in avoiding drowning and serious harm that need to be addressed.

All students who attend the Wellington Ocean Sports safe boating programme will receive tuition covering – weather (forecast and actual), lifejackets and other forms of flotation, risk assessment, means of communication, safety equipment and trip reports. In addition to this the students are given a practical on the water session in either – sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboard, windsurfing or waka ama.

Wellington Ocean Sports Manager Matt Wood is currently working with former city councillor John Morrison to identify funding sources that would enable the expansion of the programme to include every child in the Wellington Region.

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