Auckland has a higher number of drownings per year on average than anywhere else in the country.
That’s according to Drowning Prevention Auckland, the group encouraging everyone to take extra care near water this Water Safety Week (9-13 November).
“The aim of the week is to raise awareness and educate Aucklanders on the importance of water safety,” says Drowning Prevention Auckland Chief Executive Davin Bray.
“It’s about changing attitudes and behaviours so that we see a decline in preventable drownings across the region.”
Auckland Council Environment and Community Committee Chairperson Penny Hulse says being water-wise is a necessity in Auckland.
“With three beautiful harbours, more than 3000km of coastline and 24 Auckland Council community swimming pools, we are literally surrounded by water.
“To enjoy all that our beautiful backyard has to offer, we need to ensure that we know how to be safe and survive in and around water.
“Now is a great time to ensure the whole whānau knows how to swim and are educated on basic water safety skills. It’s never too late to learn.”
Visit Drowning Prevention Auckland to find out more about Water Safety Week.
Tips for staying safe in and around the water
In the pool
- Keep children within sight and reach, without distraction
- Empty paddling pools when not in use
- Be ready to respond in an emergency. Learn child CPR.
At the beach
- Swim with others and between the flags at lifeguard-patrolled beaches
- Enter shallow and unknown water feet first
- Observe safety signs and warnings and check Safeswim for water quality
- Understand the risks and your own ability to cope with them
- Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.
On the water
- Know the local weather and marine conditions
- Wear a lifejacket when rock fishing, crabbing, set netting or boating. Under Auckland’s Navigation Safety Bylaw, it is compulsory to wear a lifejacket when in boats of 6m or less
- Be a responsible skipper and make sure your boat and gear are in good shape.
Get more safety tips by reading the Water Safety Code at Water Safety New Zealand.
Need to learn to swim?
Auckland Council Pools and Leisure offers 'learn to swim' and water skills programmes for all ages at many of its leisure centres.
Enrol in a learn to swim class now.