Surf Life Saving WA health promotion and research officer Chrissie Skehan said the students were heavily engaged in the program, meeting SLSWA�s lifesavers and taking part in activities to develop their familiarity and confidence at the beach.
The Times joined the 24 youth from Koondoola Intensive English Centre who attended the program recently.
�For many of these children it was their first time at an Australian beach, so the day was spent building their familiarity with the various aspects of beach safety, including waves, rip currents and lifesaving patrols,� Ms Skehan said.
�The students built on their skills and confidence in entering the water, and learnt how to assess the ocean conditions and match their activities to their abilities.�
She said the City of Wanneroo had seen a high number of coastal drownings in recent years, with over 70 per cent of these being people of overseas nationality.
�Through a drowning blackspot reduction program, SLSWA is working with the City to reverse this trend, by delivering BeachSAFE programs that build the community�s capacity to recreate safely at the coast,� she said.
�The City has a large multicultural population; many who have moved from land locked countries and have little experience with the dynamic Australian coastline.�
On the final day of the BeachSAFE program about 20 students from the Edmund Rice Centre headed to Quinns Beach.