Highlights from our April activity including Wai Wise, a global drowning prevention event at Vector Wero Whitewater Park and the new one-day SPLASH holiday programme.

Wai Wise Programme

One of DPA’s flagship programmes, Wai Wise, ran for the first time with Auckland’s Asian community last month.

The programme provides an insight of water safety learning through both theory sessions and a series of practical workshops to improve water competence, survival and safety skills. Over twenty participants from Chinese Dragon Boat Association (CDBA) nicknamed the Dragon Riders, took part. over several weekends. . Whilst participants joined with boating experience from paddling dragon boats, they lacked water safety knowledge and experience.

DPA partnered with Coastguard Boating Education (CBE) who supported the courses on Day Skipper and In-water Survival.

“I thought water safety was all about swimming techniques before joining Wai Wise, and now I realised there is way more knowledge and experience that we need to gain. I feel lucky to have been the Skipper of the boat in the drowning simulation and rescue scenario. I practiced using the communication device on Channel 16, then started to deliver Distress code on Mayday, and I wish to let other Asian communities know that participation in these programmes is important for all of us”
Shan Shan Xu

Global water safety and drowning prevention event – Vector Wero Whitewater Park

Last month, Vector Wero hosted a global water safety and drowning prevention event in collaboration with several key partners in the aquatics industry. The event provided members of the public with free in-water experiences, lessons and resources to keep themselves safer in on and around the water. The activities included white water rafting, stand up paddleboarding, canoe polo and kayaking.

It was fantastic to see such high levels of engagement with hundreds of people learning and having fun.

The DPA team provided guidance and information on Auckland’s navigational safety bylaws, lifejacket use, pool safety messaging and ran a real time demonstration of the 4R’s for bystander rescue. The demonstration teaches members of the public how to assist people in the water without putting themselves at risk. This is an important skill to learn as statistics show us that 3% of rescuers who enter the water to save somebody in distress end up drowning themselves.

What are the 4Rs of Bystander Rescue

  • Recognition This emphasises the importance of recognising when someone is at risk of drowning and taking action to prevent it. This includes being aware of the signs of distress, such as gasping for air or struggling to stay afloat and taking immediate action to assist them. It is also important to keep an eye on those who are swimming or playing in the water, particularly children or those who may not be strong swimmers.
  • Respond If someone is in danger of drowning, the next step is to respond quickly. This may involve alerting others in the area, such as lifeguards, other swimmers or calling 111 and asking for the police. It is important to remember that time is of the essence in a drowning situation, so any delay in responding could have serious consequences.
  • Rescue The next step is to rescue the person in danger. This may involve using tools around you including, flotation devices, water bottles, sticks, throwing a rope or other objects to the person which will assist in keeping them afloat until they are able to swim to shore or until help arrives.
  • Resuscitation Finally, once the person has been rescued, it is important to revive them if necessary. This may involve performing CPR at a rate of 30 compressions and two breaths or other lifesaving techniques like the recovery position until emergency responders arrive.

Complete the free Bystander Rescue lesson within the Water Safety for Youth and Young Adults eLearning module.

For more information about events, contact Harry Aonga – Team Leader Community Education & Events: [email protected] or on 0211118674.

April 2023 SPLASH Holiday Programme

SPLASH originally started as a weeklong holiday programme and has has now been re-designed to to run in one day – a day filled with new learnings and water safety experiences.

During the school holidays, SPLASH took place at Mount Albert Aquatic Centre, offering two daylong programmes for around 30 children aged 8-10 and11-13 year olds. The programme covers many aspects around the water, with some of these being, lifejacket safety, boating safety, recognising, and assisting a drowning person and beach safety.

The children thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities with the highlights being the snorkelling and safer boating. The safer boating activity not only taught them what to do and what to wear when on a boat, but it also developed their teamwork and leadership skills.

The children really enjoyed the programme and left with a whole new set of skills. Many were keen to return for the next holidays!

“I learnt to bring a first aid kit and communications on a boat and to always tell someone where you are going”
“I liked the snorkelling, I learnt about how to snorkel especially how to use the mask and snorkel and I liked picking up the paua shells”

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