Swim Star Stephen Backs Kids’ Water Safety Lesson

21 June 2019
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth
Water Safety lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth

Staying Safe Around Water

Olympian and world champion Stephen Milne helps drive home the water safety message to thousands of kids on the Learn to Swim programme, during Drowning Prevention Week 2019.

“With so many miles of coastline and inland lochs it is really important that all children have the chance to learn to swim so they become confident, competent and safe swimmers.”

Stephen Milne
Olympic silver medal swimmer
Olympic silver medallist and world champion swimmer Stephen Milne is backing a nationwide water safety campaign to teach thousands of children self-rescue and lifesaving skills.

Pool hero Stephen joined kids from Methven Primary School in Perth, who were taking part in the largest co-ordinated water safety lesson ever seen in Scotland, as part of the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week.

Stephen spent time with the youngsters, explaining the importance of learning how to be safe in the water during the lesson, hosted by Live Active Leisure at Perth Leisure Pool.

He said: “Swimming is a huge part of my life but swimming is also a life skill.

“With so many miles of coastline and inland lochs it is really important that all children have the chance to learn to swim so they become confident, competent and safe swimmers.”

As part of the National Learn to Swim Framework, some 75,000 children have taken part in the vital water safety lessons.

Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water – partners in the Learn to Swim programme - joined forces with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Leisure Trusts and aquatic providers to deliver the lifesaving initiative just before the summer holidays.

The children learn the Water Safety Code: Stop and Think; Stay Together; Float; Call 999 or 112. They also focus on the importance of floating if they ever fall in cold water and the meanings of different flags if they are at the beach.

A total of 263 people lost their lives to unintentional drowning in the UK in 2018 – 46 in Scotland – according to latest figures from the National Water Safety Forum.

Euan Lowe, Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Swimming, said: “Swimming is an essential life skill which helps children to be safer in and around water. Ahead of the summer holidays we want children to have fun and enjoy swimming, but to also have the knowledge on how to look after themselves and others.”

Gary Watson, Director of Operations at Live Active Leisure, added:  “Working with Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water through the National Learn to Swim Framework we are making a real difference by helping children of all ages and abilities to become confident, safe and competent swimmers.”
Water Safety Lesson with Stephen Milne in Perth

Lifesaving Lessons

Olympian and world champion Stephen Milne joins Methven Primary School kids at Perth Leisure Pool

To reinforce the water safety message at home, parents will also have access to a host of RNLI and RLSS water safety information and resources, available on the Scottish Swimming Learn to Swim microsite in partnership with Scottish Water.

Every child is given a water safety leaflet, provided by the RNLI, to support the lesson and give them the knowledge and advice to continue enjoying a range of water environments safely.

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs for Scottish Water, said: “The Water Safety lessons are a fabulous addition to the Learn to Swim programme. We are delighted so many children across Scotland are already able to enjoy the benefits of swimming – and so these new lessons will give them additional skills should they ever find themselves in danger. 

“Water can often look harmless but there are many hidden dangers, so we are totally focused on doing what we can to make sure that parents and children stay safe around rivers, reservoirs and lochs this summer.”

The Learn to Swim Framework aims to teach over 100,000 kids to be confident, safe and competent swimmers by 2020.

Robert Gofton, CEO of RLSS UK commented: “We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of the activities being run and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills.” 

The RLSS UK’s annual Drowning Prevention Week, which runs until June 24, 2019, aims to reduce the number of drownings and non-fatal drowning incidences in the UK by showing people how to be safe and have fun near water.