The Royal Life Saving Society launched a petition today to have swimming lessons introduced into the national education curriculum.

A recent report showed as many as 600,000 young Australians are currently at risk of drowning.

Zoe Bos reports.


The report released by the Royal Life Saving Society indicates nationally, there’s been a 25 per cent increase in drownings of people aged between 15 and 24 in the past decade.

It also estimates that every year 50,000 children are unable to swim by the time they reach high school.

Laurie Lawrence, Swimming Coach: “If you believe in health, fitness and safety for our young children no child should be denied the opportunity to learn to swim.”

With 33 per cent of drowning deaths between the ages of 0 to 4 occurring in the family swimming pool, experts recommend compulsory swimming lessons at school for children.

The Royal Life Saving Society is encouraging people to get behind compulsory swimming lessons by signing up to their online petition.

The Society believes a national initiative in schools is overdue.

Michael Darben, Royal Life Saving Society: “A teenager might get into difficulty in the water, if they can float on their back and swim to safety or they’ve got a friend who has some rescue skills it may save their life.”

Laurie Lawrence agrees saying that while a lot of Queensland schools do have pools, there are many schools across the state which don’t.

Laurie Lawrence, Swimming Coach: “It’s not rocket science you’ve just got to give the children an opportunity to get in the water, if they’re denied an opportunity to get in the water.”

Zoe Bos, QUT News