Staying safe in the surf

tragedy inspires safety program
tragedy inspires safety program

The program co-ordinator is Materno Biwot. His son Jenon (13) drowned at Clayton Beach.

‘When we first arrived to Australia we were never taught how dangerous the beaches could be and the children just started going to the beaches, thinking it was safe to do so,’ Mr Biwot said.

‘When Jenon’s tragedy occurred, we became aware that this information was vital to our communities, not only to my family but any family that has come to Australia from overseas.

‘We want something positive to come out of Jenon’s drowning so that it won’t happen to any other family. We aim to not only reduce the amount of water fatalities, but to empower young people to develop the skills to navigate their way through these unpredictable and dangerous situations in our waters.’

The program provides CaLD youth with the opportunity to learn surf awareness skills needed at WA beaches.

‘WA has some of the best beaches in the world, which are heavily utilized by the community due to the vast range of free and enjoyable recreational opportunities they offer,’ Health and Development co-ordinator at Surf Life Saving WA Stevee Hudson said.

‘CaLD communities are over represented in these coastal drowning death statistics and that’s why we have initiated this program.’