A nine-month-old baby boy at his first swimming lesson.
A nine-month-old baby boy at his first swimming lesson.

Free swim lessons after month of drowning incidents

In January this year, six people drowned or nearly drowned in the area covered by Rockhampton, Gladstone and Emerald.

That was the most of any month in the past year, during which there were 19 such occasions altogether.

So starting on March 3 and until the end of the year, Bluefit Swimming will run free swimming lessons for infants up to four months old.

Rockhampton Aquatic swimming instructor Harmony Starchild’s own daughter drowned, spurring her to become a specialist infant swimming teacher about eight years ago.

She said the earlier people learned to swim, the better.

“I lost a little one in a drowning, so I know how important it is that I teach them correctly,” Ms Starchild said.

“I’m passionate about what I do and that’s one of the main reasons why.

“The earlier they can get in the water with their parents, the easier it then becomes for them to be taught the skills.

“We’re teaching parents how to make our children more independent so that they can save themselves.”

The Splash Time program to be run at the Memorial Swimming Pool is meant to help infants become comfortable in the water and teach them foundational skills.

It will also assist parents in exposing their children to water for the first time.

“We teach them how to hold the babies in the water,” Ms Starchild said.

“Some new parents are quite scared when they first have the little ones.

“Being able to hold them properly and feeling comfortable in the water with them is very important.”

The lessons will be held on the first Wednesday of each month until December.

Bookings can be made on the Splash Time website.