Lifesavers extend helping hand

There have been several serious backyard pool incidents in Perth in the past two months, including the drowning of two-year-old boy Lachlan while at daycare in Carramar in November.

Last month, a 23-month-old boy was left brain-damaged after a pool incident in Noranda, a two-year-old girl nearly drowned in an inflatable pool in Greenfields and an 18-month-old girl was hospitalised after her parents pulled her from a saltwater pool in Northam.

In Canberra, Perth toddler River Arama Parry drowned in a pool at a relative’s home.

A Royal Life Saving WA (RLSWA) spokeswoman said while the organisation’s primary aim was to prevent drowning, it also offered support to those affected by such incidents.

She referred to the RLSWA’s Community Help Grants for non-fatal drowning victims, which assist with treatment costs for what can often be permanent injuries such as brain damage.

For families who had lost a member in a drowning incident, the spokeswoman emphasised the organisation was open to providing financial assistance for services such as counselling or swimming lessons for siblings of the victim.

She said the society had been in contact with the families of recent drowning victims Lachlan and River.

“We did in fact make a small contribution for the family of little River who drowned while holidaying with family in Canberra,” she said.

“We have opened the door for River’s family to contact us for further support when they are ready to do so.

“We’ve also been in contact with the family of Lachlan, who died after drowning at the family daycare in Carramar, and are ready to provide support for them when they request it.”

Families had access to a peer-support network to speak with others who had experienced a drowning tragedy and were “well placed to understand the emotional turmoil involved in the grief process”.

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