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Child safety and accident prevention in the water and in marine sports
Presentation of Safe Water Sports educational actions
Wednesday 15th June saw the presentation of educational actions for the strengthening of child safety in the sea and in marine sports organized by the non-profit social initiative Safe Water Sports at the Neraida Floating Museum (www.neraida.org) run by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
The speakers were Dr. P. Paschalakis, President of Safe Water Sports, P. Paraskevas, Rear-Admiral of the Hellenic Coast Guard and Sectoral 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, Writer.
All the speakers mentioned the need for information and children’s education in Greece as a basic factor for reduction in the number of accidents. At the same time, the President of Safe Water Sports emphasized the excellent collaboration the Organization enjoyed with the Coast Guard, something greatly boosting and energizing the initiative for providing information to children.
Greece, with its around 2,500 islands, has the world’s eleventh largest coastline. According to data from the European Child Safety Alliance (www.childsafetyeurope.org) each year 50,000 European citizens are injured while participating in marine sports and activities involving boats. Drowning is the second most common cause of death for infants and children under fourteen, with more than 5,000 deaths per year. Greece, likewise, has the world’s highest rate of drownings and marine accidents.
Safe Water Sports
The non-profit social initiative Safe Water Sports aims basically to inform the public and increase citizen awareness of subjects related to activities (sporting and recreational) in the water, with particular emphasis on safety and accident prevention. It co-operates closely with the Coast Guard around two basic axes: a) modernizing and upgrading the institutional framework for safety in Greece and b) continuous provision of information to, and raising awareness of, children of all ages through special programs in the schools.
In the course of the function there was a presentation of the extensive educational and informational program for children at schools throughout the country, entitled “I PAY ATTENTION – I LEARN – I CARE”, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Coast Guard – Directorate of the Port Police. The program, which has the imprimatur of the Education Ministry, runs in the schools in the course of the school year between March and June. The educational material is suitably adapted for three age groups a) 1st and 2nd class of primary school, b) 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class of primary school, c) 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of junior high school. In parallel, every school has a day for informing parents through the corresponding Parents’ and Guardians’ Associations.
The next school year that program will be presented to 30,000-50,000 pupils and 350 schools throughout Greece (in all regions). The Coast Guard will make its contribution to this effort, assigning officers employed at the country’s 167 port authorities, which will assume the role of the teacher-presenter, with Safe Water Sports providing suitable educational materials for capturing the attention of the children.
For this reason, with the gracious support of the Neraida Floating Museum, a series of educational videos was produced with participation from the following Greek Olympic champions and water sports people:
In the context of the function, Safe Water Sports and the writer Vangelis Iliopoulos also presented the latter’s new children’s book, recently published by PATAKIS EDITIONS and entitled “Octopus Seif and the Three Sea-Guards”, which presents the subject of safety at sea and sports by means of a fairy tale.
Safe Water Sports has also designed an electronic platform (website, apps) offering a modern and specialized service for the information of Greek and foreign visitors (through internet and mobile phone applications) on the subject of
the more than 2,900 beaches throughout the country, with the access to them, where visitors can swim, along with their characteristics from the safety viewpoint (deep or shallow water, type of beach, length of beach, whether or not organized, with or without lifeguards, access for people with special needs, etc.)
all (and only) legal business enterprises for water sports rentals (waterskis, scuba diving, tubes, kitesurf, etc.) in operation in Greece.
businesses renting recreational craft of every type.
the existing safety regulations for every water activity.
an abundance of other information related directly or indirectly to activities in the sea and in water.
Through Safe Water Sports the citizen may also comment on enterprises and rate them and in this way contribute to upgrading services and improving safety.
For Further Information:
Safe Water Sports
Τel: +30 210-8029428
Email: [email protected]ports.gr
The educational videos are available at the following links: