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On Wednesday 15 June, Safe Water Sports, a non-profit initiative, presented its educational activities for the reinforcement of children’s safety at sea and in marine sports. The presentation took place at the Neraida Floating Museum run by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
The following speakers participated in the presentation: Dr. P. Paschalakis, President of Safe Water Sports; P. Paraskevas, Rear Admiral of the Hellenic Coast Guard and Head of Shipping; N. Kaklamanis, Olympic Gold Medalist in windsurfing; S. Papadopoulou, Olympic Bronze Medalist in sailing; A. Karapataki, Olympic Silver Medalist in water polo; N. Plytas, Champion in jet skiing; and V. Iliopoulos, author.
All the speakers highlighted the need for children to be well-informed and educated as an essential factor for reducing the number of accidents in the country. Moreover, the President of Safe Water Sports emphasized the excellent collaboration that the organisation has been having so far with the Hellenic Coast Guard, which has contributed greatly to its educational mission for children.
Greece, with approximately 2,500 islands on its territory, has the world’s eleventh largest coastline. According to data from the European Child Safety Alliance, each year 50,000 European citizens are injured while participating in marine sports and boat activities. Drowning is the second most common cause of death for infants and children under 14 years old, with more than 5,000 deaths per year. Meanwhile, Greece has the world’s highest rate of drownings and accidents at sea.
Safe Water Sports
The primary goal of Safe Water Sports non-profit initiative is to inform and raise awareness among citizens on all topics related to marine activities (sport and entertainment ones), with a particular emphasis on safety and accident prevention. It works closely with the Hellenic Coast Guard on two basic axes: a) modernising and upgrading the institutional framework for safety in Greece; and b) providing information and raising awareness among children of all ages via special programmes at schools.
In the course of the event, the extensive education and awareness programme for children at schools throughout the country entitled “I PAY ATTENTION – I LEARN – I CARE” was presented. The programme is implemented in collaboration with the Hellenic Coast Guard – Port Police Directorate. The school programme, which is supported by the Ministry of Education, runs during the school year, between March and June. The educational material is shaped accordingly to meet the needs of three age groups: a) 1st and 2nd grade of primary school; b) 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade of primary school; c) 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of junior high school. In addition, each school organises a one-day information session for parents through the corresponding Parents’ and Guardians’ Association.
In the course of the next school year, the programme will be presented to 30,000-50,000 pupils of 350 schools throughout Greece (in all regions). The Coast Guard will also contribute to this effort, assigning officers and employees from 167 port authorities to assume the role of the educator. Meanwhile, Safe Water Sports will be providing the educational material for the presentations, making sure to hold the children’s attention and interest.
To these ends, a series of educational videos has been produced with the kind support of the Neraida Floating Museum. The following Greek Olympic water sports champions participated in this initiative:
In the context of this event, Safe Water Sports and author Vangelis Iliopoulos also presented the latter’s new children’s book, recently published by PATAKIS Publishers. The book, entitled ‘Octopus Safe and the Three Sea-Guards’, deals with the issue of safety at sea and in marine sports by means of a fairy tale.
Safe Water Sports has also designed a digital platform (website, apps) offering a modern and specialised service for information dissemination among Greek and foreign visitors (through the internet and smartphone applications) on the following subjects:
Through Safe Water Sports, citizens can also leave comments and rate enterprises. In this way, they can contribute to upgrading the relevant services and improving safety measures.
For Further Information:
Safe Water Sports
Τel: +30 210-8029428
Email: [email protected]
The educational videos are available bellow: