Famous for the extensive number of beaches that dot its perimeter, Malta naturally has countless locals who are taught how to swim at a young age so they can properly enjoy the popular summer locations with their families. But with strong winds and dangerous seas making their way to the islands on a regular basis, we unfortunately hear of people being caught out by currents and rougher waters more often than we would like.
Because of this, Swedish activist, clean-up organiser and most recently MEP candidate Cami Appelgren voiced her opinion that children in Malta should be taught about swimming safety before they leave Primary School
A former diving instructor, Appelgren said she’s “seen the danger close up and know the ‘do’s and don’ts’.”
“I call for sea safety to be part of the curriculum, so that every child leaving primary school knows how to survive if they find themselves in danger while swimming,” Appelgren wrote on Facebook, tagging Education Minister Evarist Bartolo. “This should include overall sea safety, how to get out of currents, wildlife sting treatments and to know how it feels to be in water with clothes on and what to do in such situation.”
Cami explained that trained professionals should be brought in to teach children the necessary skills so as to ensure the maximum safety of as many children as possible.
The post also points out a few safety tips that parents should know… including one particularly dangerous “death trap”
Appelgren focused this part on the dangers of ‘rip currents’, which she called a “death trap”.
“One of the best ways to spot a rip current is to look out for any gaps between the waves,” Appelgren advised. “The calmer the gap is between the waves may make you think it is safe. Be aware! A small patch of calm water in an otherwise choppy sea is often a rip current. Keep your kids away from areas like it. Rip currents drag you out from the shore and it’s strong. Don’t underestimate it.”
Concluding that people getting stuck in a rip current should not try to swim against it but should instead lay out on their back, float and signal for help, Appelgren urged everyone to “stay safe this summer and teach your kids how to stay safe.”