Adult drowning rates in New Zealand are increasing.

Research has found that this is likely for a number of reasons:

  • Lack of water safety practice
  • Entrenched unsafe attitudes toward open water participation
  • Underestimation of risks in aquatic activity
  • Overly optimistic perception of capacity to cope with that risk

(Stanley & Moran, 2021)

The adult water competency pilot programme was completed in June 2022 which showed some interesting results:

  • Adults overestimated their water competence in controlled pool environment
  • Although not tested in open water during the pilot, adults perceived open water competency was likely to be overestimated
  • All participants water competency improved after education at the conclusion of the programme

(Stanley & Carmine, 2022)

Here’s what participants had to say about the programme:

I was incredibly surprised that I was able to improve weaknesses with a few simple tips from the facilitator

I was shocked to realise that there were some things that I couldn’t do after years of thinking I could do them; this was a real eye opener to figure out what I could do and how to keep myself safer in the water

Want to improve your water competency?

Take this opportunity to test yourself in the safety of the pool with instructors on hand to guide you. Can you do everything you think you can? Could you be safer in the water?

To improve your water competency, join a free session at one of the four venues that Drowning Prevention Auckland are facilitating with the support of Auckland Council. The session is one hour long, free of charge and is designed to help you discover your current level of water competency and give you tips on how to improve it.

To join this free initiative, contact one of the four sites below.

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