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Free water safety lessons for Franklin youth

For Amber Williams the thought of getting back into the water was terrifying. She hadn’t swum for 19 years after a near drowning at Sunset Beach, Port Waikato. Luckily the rescue helicopter paramedics managed to save her. Scared of the water since then, it took only minutes of a water safety lesson last week to get her laughing and playing happily, and safely, in the water again.

Amber is participating in a series of free water safety lessons offered by Franklin Pool and Leisure, with the support of Counties Power and Drowning Prevention Auckland.

Amber is a participant at Kaleidocare, a Franklin community group for young adults and children with intellectual and physical disabilities. They, along with all schools in the community, have been offered a series of water safety lessons to teach local young people how to stay safe in, on and around water environments.

Franklin Pool and Leisure Manager Judy Tipping says the lessons start with an interactive classroom-based session from Drowning Prevention Auckland followed by a series of pool-based lessons.

“We get participants in the pool and give them the skills to prevent themselves, or others, from drowning. From how to keep afloat with equipment found at a lake, beach or river to basic sculling and swimming, group huddling and how to rescue someone in trouble. These are all very practical lessons to help people stay alive.”

Counties Power Chief Executive Judy Nicholl says as an island nation with access to many rivers and lakes it is essential everyone knows basic water safety.

“New Zealanders love the water however it is so important we all know how to stay safe in and on it. As a company we’re committed to water safety, as seen through our partnerships with Waiuku Coastguard, Sunset Beach Surf Lifeguard Service, water safety at the Franklin Primary School Triathlon and now through these important free lessons for our young people.”

If you’d like your school or community group to participate in the free lessons please contact Franklin Pool and Leisure.

For more information and resources on water safety go to Drowning Prevention Auckland –

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