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Sports Administration enhances water safety promotion through energetically promoting the “4 water self-rescue moves“

Sports Administration enhances water safety promotion through energetically promoting the “4 water self-rescue moves“
     In order to strengthen students’ ability to swim and self-rescue in water, in coordination with the 12-year National Education Curriculum, in September 2011, the Sports Administration promulgated amendment of the “Basic Indicators for Swimming and Self-rescue Ability of National Elementary and Junior High School Students”. From elementary school to high school, swimming and self-rescue skills in each stage are divided into five levels, adding “clothed swimming” for accidental falling into the water, “clothes removal” self-rescue skills, and “shore rescue” lifesaving methods. As a lot of people play in water in summer, the Sports Administration has issued a letter to schools at all levels across the country, requesting schools strengthen promotion of water safety skills and awareness before the holidays begin, and calling on students to master the “4 water self-rescue moves”.
    The “4 water self-rescue moves” are “slapping the water surface”, “using floating objects”, “jellyfish floating” and “floating on the back”.1. Slapping the water surface: Raise your hands horizontally and slap the water surface downwards, and shout for help, using movements and sounds to attract attention; 2. Using floating objects: use the floating objects available on site, or take off your clothes and throw them forward from the back of your head, so that the clothes fill with air to form a buoyancy aid; 3. Jellyfish floating: Take a deep breath, bury your face in the water, straighten your hands and feet naturally, and relax your body; 4. Floating on the back: relax the whole body, slowly tilt the head back after inhaling fully, and exhale and inhale quickly through the mouth when breathing.
    The Sports Administration stated that in addition to being proficient in the “4 water self-rescue moves”, students should choose places with life-saving equipment and professional life-saving personnel when playing in the water, and refrain from engaging in dangerous behavior and diving. According to statistics from the School Safety Reporting System of the Ministry of Education, student drowning incidents mostly occur during holidays, especially during graduation season and continuous holidays. Recently, two schoolchildren in Hualien County went to Jiawan Beach to play in the water without notifying their parents on the eve of a typhoon's arrival in Taiwan. They were swept into the sea by a big wave. One child was luckily rescued, but the other died after being taken to hospital. The key to being rescued was that the surviving student floated in a relaxed way and calmly waited for rescue after falling into the sea. He also possessed level 3 water self-rescue ability. Water self-rescue ability is divided into five levels; level 3 means a person has the ability to “jellyfish float for up to 30 seconds” and “floating on the back or treading water” for up to 15 seconds.
    The “Basic Indicators for Swimming and Self-rescue Ability of National Elementary and Junior High School Students” have added three skills: Clothed Swimming, Clothes Removal and Shore Rescue. 1. Clothed swimming trains students’ ability to judge whether they can immediately return to a safe place; if a return to shore is possible, the distance must be considered. If the distance is far away from the shore or the drowning person is not proficient in the water, they should first remove their cumbersome clothes to facilitate safe exit from the water; 2. Clothes removal simulates a drowning person taking off cumbersome clothes in the water. The sequence of undressing is based on the sequence that affects a drowning person's movements. First, take off the coat, followed by shoes and socks, and then trousers and shirt. Keep calm, and don't tear clothes off indiscriminately; 3. Shore rescue teaches the order of priority for shore rescue of drowning people. Do not rush into the water for rescue. Hands, feet or objects can be used to help rescue drowning people. The three new skills teach people to prolong the chance of surviving in water by simulating the situation of accidentally falling into the water.
    Taiwan is surrounded by the sea, and the seashore is the first choice for people to cool off and play in the summer, but there are also many hidden drowning traps. One of the traps is the “precipitous drop-off beach”, notable examples of which are Qixingtan Beach in Hualien, Qijin in Kaohsiung and Neipi Beach in Yilan. Ten to tens of meters away from the shore, the terrain drops sharply, and there are even troughs as deep as 100 meters, which easily form “reverse plumes”; when big waves come, it is very easy to be swept out to sea. In addition, the public is reminded that when they see a drowning person at the seashore , they should call the rescue number “Coastguard Service Hotline 118” as soon as possible, so as to notify local Coast Guard personnel and allow rescue to be carried out as soon as possible.
    The Sports Administration has asked local county and city governments to strengthen patrols and warnings at dangerous water areas, and appealed again to parents to keep track of their children's whereabouts and teach them that playing in dangerous waters alone or with others should be avoided. When the weather conditions are bad such as when a typhoon is passing through, during high tides, or heavy rain, they should halt water activities immediately to reduce the occurrence of drowning accidents, and must learn the “4 water self-rescue moves” well, so that they can self-rescue at the fate deciding moment. For more student water safety promotion information, refer to the Sports Administration student water sports safety website. (