27/08/2019 10:20 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Swimming classes in Lam river

The authorities in Nghi Hai ward, Cua Lo town, Nghe An have organized free swimming lessons for children in the Lam river every afternoon in a move to prevent children from drowning, a growing problem in the central coastal province. 
Nghi Hai ward, which borders the sea to the east and the Lam River to the south, has reported many child drownings since the beginning of this year. Local men in Nghi Hai mostly go fishing all year round while women are busy drying seafood and making fish sauce, which leaves them little time watching their children.

“After the tragic drowning of three children in January, the local administration asked us to spend more time with our children and teach them how to swim,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh, a local resident.


Adults join their children in their swimming lessons on the Lam river. Photo: Tat Son

A bamboo bridge built by the local authority for the children to cling to when learning to swim. Photo: Thong Thien

 The children are given life jackets and buoys in swimming classes. Photo: Tat Son

A mother with her little girl in a swimming class on the river. Photo: Thong Thien

 The children find the lessons very exciting. Photo: Tat Son

Every year, Vietnam reports over 2,000 child drownings which mostly take place at home, in public places and after school.
Source: Ministry of Labor-Invalids and Social Affairs
Local authorities have asked experienced fishermen to teach children to swim and build bamboo bridges connecting to the Lam river for the children to cling to while learning how to swim.

“Teaching children how to swim in a river is practical because they can experience real incidents such as whirlpools, sand collapses and rip currents, said Nguyen Van Tinh, a local fisherman who is assigned to teach the children. “Children are taught how to deal with these real situations, which they would never learn in a class at a swimming pool,” Tinh added.

Nghi Hai’s swimming lessons have proved helpful as so far, no children have drowned since the beginning of this summer. These swimming classes have also helped train future fishermen in the locality.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the Ministry of Labor-Invalids and Social Affairs and the standing body of the National Committee for Children to issue written requests for provinces and cities nationwide to take measures to control child injuries and accidents in general and drowning in particular.
 By Thong Thien & Tat Son