Water Safety Education
Throughout the years of running surf camps in multiple coastal cities we realized the need for greater water safety education and swim instruction for disadvantaged youth from the Jacksonville area. We have also seen a staggering gap in knowledge about water safety specific to open water ways, including our coast.
In order to bridge this gap and give youth the opportunity to learn these essential life safety skills we sought out to develop a water safety program specifically for at risk youth with little to no swim skills.We wanted a curriculum that went beyond pool safety, and ventured out to the beach and other open water environments. In collaboration with the Jacksonville Beach Lifeguard Core, "Lifeguards without Boarders", and “The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project”, we have developed a curriculum to meet these very needs.
Our program will be practiced first at the local pool, then implemented further at the beach in conjunction with surf camp. In our program students learn how to save themselves, save others, along with basic knowledge about ocean life, environment, and geography. We will run our water safety education sessions from March-June. Our sessions will be taught by Jacksonville Beach Lifeguards, supported by ARC Project volunteers, and run in partnership with local pools.
1. Recognizing Drowning
- Explain what drowning is
- Ask children what they would do if their friend was drowning
- Discourage jumping in water and helping friend
- Encourage "Reach, throw, row"
- Ask children to look around and find objects they could use to reach/throw (cooler, basketball, pole, towel, shirt, rope, etc)
- Discuss use of ring/buoy or Shepard's hook
2. Beach Hazards
- What makes the beach and ocean dangerous?
- Discuss wind, currents, waves, sea life
- Rip currents - (1. Recognize 2. Avoid 3. How to get out 4. How to get in )
- Sandbars and tides
- Photos of potentially dangerous sea life
- Encourage talking to lifeguards
- Explain beach flag colors