Water Safety Program for children in the Galápagos
This outlines the establishment of a water safety program for children and their families in the Galápagos islands. The overall goal is to keep children safe around water and reduce the number of accidental drownings and injuries from nonfatal drownings.
The program’s mission is to:
- Educate children and their families in water safety
- Make high-quality life jackets available to children and youth on the islands
There are approximately 30,000 inhabitants in the Galápagos archipelago, around a third of which are children under the age of 16.
For children growing up in the Galápagos, the ocean is a lifelong playground. But it is also a place of hidden dangers. The placid seas can change drastically, calm waters can be replaced with fierce currents, and waves can grow exponentially with approaching storms. So it is not only important to expose children to the wonders of the ocean, but they must also be made aware of the often invisible hazards.
Teaching safety at sea
One mission of the Galápagos Water Safety Program is to keep children safe in and around water by teaching children and parents the importance of water safety.
Through the program, children and families will learn:
- about dangers in and around water
- where to find reliable weather forecasts
- to always wear a lifejacket in or around water
- how to keep safe in boats
- basic CPR
Lifejackets are life savers
It is strongly recommended that children always wear a lifejacket around open water. Unfortunately that is rarely the case in the Galápagos, either because of habit or insufficient means. To make matters worse, only a minority of the children in Ecudador has learnt to swim.
Therefore the Galápagos Water Safety Program has made an initial donation of 200 Baltic lifejackets available to children on the islands. This is the first delivery of a total of 2.000 lifejackets.
First lifejackets have been delivered at the Galápagos Cup
The Galápagos Water Safety Program delivered the first lifejackets on October 18-23, 2022, when the Galápagos Cup reached the islands.
This triennial event is one of the most important in Ecuadorian sailing and always draws a large crowd. The program have collaborated with local authorities in order to distribute the lifejackets to needy families. The lifejackets will be brought back on a yearly basis for inspection or to exchange them for a bigger size as the children grow.