December 11, 2023

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Water Rescue and First Aid Seminar: Preventing Drowning Incidents in the Philippines

by Coach Emer Matienzo

Today May 13 to14, 2023, the Scrapyard Resort will be hosting a Water Rescue and First Aid Seminar, which aims to provide knowledge and skills in preventing drowning incidents. The seminar will be led by Prof. Hans Rafael V. Sumalde, a highly esteemed sport science professor with various licenses and expertise in water safety. The seminar is organized by John Paulo de Borja, head coach of Aquaventure Swim School located in Angono, Rizal.

Prof. Hans Rafael V. Sumalde

Prof. Sumalde will be sharing his expertise on water rescue and first aid, which he gained through his educational background and professional experience here and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education major in Physical Education from the University of the East, a master’s degree in physical education and Sports and Recreational Management from Cavite State University, and various licenses from the American Swimming Coaches Association, Philippine National Coaching, American Red Cross, and Elis and Associates, Inc. He also gives some tips to swimmers on proper techniques and workouts.

The seminar is also aligned with Swim League Philippines’ pet project, Drown Free Philippines, which is headed by its President, Fred Galang Ancheta. The project aims to reduce the number of drowning incidents in the country by raising awareness, promoting safety measures, and providing proper training.

Drowning incidents are prevalent in the Philippines, especially during the summer season, where many people flock to beaches, resorts, and swimming pools to cool down and have fun. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, and in the Philippines, it is the second leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 17 years old.

In the latest drowning incident in the Philippines, two children aged 5 and 6 drowned in a resort in Batangas last April 2023. The incident was attributed to the lack of lifeguards and safety measures in the resort.

To prevent such incidents from happening, it is crucial to prioritize water safety and implement preventive measures. Proper supervision, adequate signage, and the presence of trained lifeguards are essential in ensuring the safety of swimmers. In addition, basic knowledge in water rescue and first aid can also be helpful in providing immediate assistance to a drowning victim.

In conclusion, the Water Rescue and First Aid Seminar is a significant step in raising awareness and providing training to prevent drowning incidents in the Philippines. With the expertise of Prof. Sumalde and the support of Swim League Philippines’ Drown Free Philippines project, the seminar aims to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to promote water safety and prevent drowning incidents.

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