Parents of junior high school students peer down into the Serepok 4 Hydropower reservoir where four students were found drowned Tuesday. Photo, Thanh Nhien News.
On Tuesday, Thanh Nhien News reported that four students had drowned in a central Vietnam reservoir. Below is the original report. Beneath that is a quick update on some of the magnificent work being done by Swim Vietnam and Water Safety Vietnam to help teach kids how to swim.
At least four junior high school students, among a group of more than 30, drowned Tuesday in a hydropower reservoir in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak .
Authorities recovered the bodies of the four sixth graders – three girls and a boy all aged 13 – and are still searching for others, said Tran Thuc, a spokesman for the local education department.
More than 30 students of Ho Tung Mau Secondary School in Buon Don District reportedly went swimming in the reservoir of the Serepok 4 Hydropower Plant at around 10 a.m.
They apparently were swept into the deep waters.
Five students, including the aforementioned fatalities, were found by local residents.
The rescued student is being treated at a local hospital.
Official figures show that more than 6,000 children drown every year in Vietnam, with the total increasing each year.
The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the number of child deaths due to drowning is 10 times higher in Vietnam than other developing countries.
While the country does have 3,260 kilometers of coastline, plus innumerable rivers, canals and ponds, experts have also blamed the government for failing to make learning to swim part of the standard school curriculum.
Swim Vietnam and Water Safety Vietnam: making water safe and fun.
Update from Swim Vietnam’s Jo Stewart
Last Sunday, Jo Stewart from Swim Vietnam wrote to the Vietnam Swans:
“We are currently out in the countryside in Dien Ban (near Hoi An) doing another AUSTSWIM teacher training (training swimming teachers who can then go and teach students) course.
“It is being presented in Vietnamese by our two senior teachers/AUSTSWIM presenters who are doing an awesome job.
“This now means we have trained over 120 swim teachers to date. Many thanks to the Vietnam Swans for the huge part you have played in this.”
Update from Water Safety Vietnam’s Jan Williams
Last week, Jan Williams from Water Safety Vietnam, emailed the Swannies with this update from Ho Tram (near Vung Tau):
“Had meeting this morning with Chief Engineer at the resort where we are teaching. Thirty minutes later, we were at the Education Department’s Management Office in a meeting with the boss. Gained his full support and he is now on the path of about 40 teachers from three schools who can swim. They will start swimming lessons during the holidays. If successful, we will create an AUSTSWIM course for them – the ideal situation here.
“Meanwhile, a brand new pool is almost finished by a Ho Tram consortium of local Aussies. The end product will be local school teachers taking their classes for swimming lessons at a purpose built pool.”