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When playing in water in summer it is important to possess correct drowning rescue and drowning prevention skills

When playing in water in summer it is important to possess correct drowning rescue and drowning prevention skills
Going with friends and companions to streams and rivers to escape the summer heat is a favorite fun activity for students at holiday times. The Sports Administration hopes that students can learn the correct drowning and drowning prevention skills before playing in the water. The mantra of "yell (for help), call (emergency rescue), stretch, throw and row" should be remembered and the drowning rescue principles of "rescue on the shore", "rescue with equipment" and "team rescue " followed to allow you to carry out rescue of others making good use of the equipment around you while ensuring your own safety, so that you can play with peace of mind.
Taiwan's streams and rivers have special hydrological characteristics. They appear stable on the surface, but there are various hidden dangers below. For example, when the water flow encounters a sharp drop in the terrain, it will form a tumbling flow, and, at bends or when obstacles are encountered, a vortex will form; there are often thunderstorms in the afternoon in summer, which will cause the water level of rivers and lakes to rise and make the water flow become rapid and turbulent. Therefore, every year, students accidentally drown because they do not know the danger of playing in streams or rivers. The Sports Administration appeals to the public and students to pay special attention to the risks arising from the characteristics of Taiwan's streams and rivers, and to pay special attention to strengthening the precautionary measures for stream and river water safety.
According to the statistics of the School Safety and Disaster Prevention Reporting Center of the Ministry of Education, 235 students died of drowning in Taiwan in the past 10 years. Last year, the number of drowning deaths was 19. Playing in water is the most common cause of drowning deaths, with high school and college students accounting for the majority of victims. According to the data, streams and rivers are the main places where drowning accidents occur, especially in summer (June-August) which is the peak period for such accidents.
The Sports Administration stated that it is of great importance to teach students to have basic water environment competencies and improve their ability to respond to crises; they should keep in mind that "lifesaving on the shore is better than lifesaving in the water", "lifesaving with equipment is better than lifesaving with bare hands", "team lifesaving is better than individual lifesaving". At the same time, the public is reminded not to go into the water to rescue people at will in the event of a drowning situation in a stream or river. If there are no life-saving items such as floatation boards or swimming rings nearby, people should properly use the props around them to aid rescue and ensure their own safety. Everyday items that can be used as life-saving props are as follows:
1. Portable cool box: a portable cool box for camping, barbecue, and fishing has good buoyancy. When drowning occurs, the contents of the refrigerator can be quickly emptied, and the cool box can be thrown to the drowning person as a life-saving item.
2. PET bottles: PET bottles have considerable buoyancy. You can put 6~8 plastic bottles into a plastic bag, tie the plastic bag tightly to prevent the bottles falling out, and then throw it to the drowning person to gain rescue time. Multiple PET bottles can also be tied to plastic rope with flat knots to quickly make a simple throwing rope, and then throw it at a 45-degree angle for rescue.
3. Bucket: When the plastic bucket is turned upside down in the water, the air can be kept in the bucket to generate buoyancy, meaning a bucket can be used as an emergency rescue item.
4. Clothes: Multiple items of clothing can be tied into a lifeline, and then soaked in water to increase its toughness and weight. It is recommended to throw it over the position of the drowning person to reduce the chance of he/she missing the line.
The Sports Department also stated that Taiwan is an island country surrounded by the sea and has many streams and rivers. Schools should implement the popularization of education and deepen the five mantra of drowning rescue, keeping in mind the correct steps of drowning rescue in the mantra of “yell (for help,) call (emergency number), stretch, throw, and row", and strive to make students learn more about water safety and build a more complete drowning prevention education environment, so that everyone can have a safer swimming environment. For more student water safety promotion information, refer to the Sports Administration student water sports safety website. (
Emergency contact numbers:
Ambulance/fire: 119
Mobile phone emergency number:112
Coastguard service line: 118
Sports Administration Water Safety Promotional Film 
Self-rescue and rescuing others in streams and rivers