The World Conference on Drowning Prevention was recently held from 17 to 20 October in Vancouver and I represented LIWA Aquatics along with Lauren Nimmo RLSSWA Senior Manager.

Did you know that every hour of every day 40 people lose their lives to drowning and this does not include natural disasters nor boating accident which stand at 360,000 downing deaths each year? *  Eight hundred delegates from 60 countries came together to exchange ideas on reducing death and injury in aquatic environments with the theme: Share Globally, Prevent Locally.

Participation in this event was a great professional development opportunity to meet with, learn from and discuss directly with world leaders in drowning prevention research, systems and information on drowning prevention, rescue, lifesaving and water safety.  Lauren delivered two presentations one on Remote aboriginal swimming pools & Watch Me Not Your Phone and the room was full for presentations ans she recived a bulk of the question after each of the sessions.  The aquatic industry is very fortunate to have someone with Lauren's passion and drive as an advocate for water safety and of course her role with Watch Around Water is well known.

Chris and Lauren

Chris and Lauren

Keynote speakers, included the ILS President Mr Graham Ford, representatives from the World Health Organisation, Médecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Boarders) and Bloomberg Philanthropies. There five core themes were prevention, rescue, swimming, research and medical with over 200 oral presentations which Lauren and I spread ourselves out amongst the various topics. I attended several rescue and response sessions especially the lifeguarding and medical presentations.  I found myself following a Dr Fransesco Pia from one room to another listening to him talk about Lifeguard and CPR skills. Fascinating presentation about “spotting a drowning person using LgHIP” worth you guys looking him up.  Read More

Another key note speaker worth looking up was Tima Kurdi, the aunt of three-year-old Syrian Alan Kurdi whose body was washed up on a beach. Her response to the  tragic loss and her amazing work she is doing to bring attention to refugees is inspiring.  Lauren and I also caught up with some of our international colleges such as Justin Semprostt and Dr Tom Griffiths who was boasting of how well LIWA Aquatics run a conference! There were many we shared discusions with that we had met at previous WCDP from Canada, the UK and Portugal.  We also caught up with many Australian colleges Justine Leavy & Gemma Crawford from Curtin, and the Royal Life Saving Australia team lead by Justin Scarr who did an amazing job charing the event.

I have a thumb drive with more of the presentations that I can make available through LIWA Aquatics EO Tony Head and you can check out The World Conference on Drowning Prevention Website.  I woudl like to thank the Shire of MIndaring and the Board of LIWA Aquatcis supporting my attendance at this event.

Chris Blankley

LIWA Aquatics Vice President.

*(WHO – World Health Organization / 2017 Canadian Drowning Report – Lifesaving Society)

Bear and Blankley

Blankley and the Bear

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We provide support, professional development and networking opportunities for individuals in the aquatic industry throughout Western Australia.

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