20 Aug 2010

Compulsory swimming lessons at school urged

6:32 am on 20 August 2010

Water Safety New Zealand wants to make swimming lessons compulsory in schools as a way to cut the number of drownings.

General manager Matt Claridge says Maori make up a disproportionate number of drowning deaths, usually from diving, fishing and boating incidents.

While Maori drownings in the first half of this year are at a 20 year low, dropping from 13 to seven of the total 48, he told Waatea News they could be even lower with community involvement.

Mr Claridge said he would like to see Maori whanau and communities get involved in ensuring their children can swim.