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Health & Social Services

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Water Safety and Aquatic Competency

As New Zealanders, we love the water - whether playing or surfing in it, boating on it, or simply enjoying our stunning beaches, lakes and rivers. Sadly, every year, a large number of Kiwis lose their lives to drowning.

Make water safety a priority for you and your family this summer - learn to swim, wear and use the right safety equipment, learn survival skills and most importantly keep your loved ones, especially young children, close.

Follow these four simple rules each time you venture near the water. They serve as a great starting point for planning a safe aquatic adventure. 

  1. Be prepared

    • Learn to swim and survive
    • Set rules for safe play in the water
    • Always use safe and correct equipment and know the weather and water conditions before you get in
  2. Watch out for yourself and others

    • Always pay close attention to children you are supervising when in or near water
    • Swim with others and in areas where lifeguards are present
  3. Be aware of the dangers

    • Enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags
    • DO NOT enter the water after drinking alcohol
  4. Know your limits

    • Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience
    • Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger

Find out more

Water safety

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