In early November, a group of ILS representatives including Dr Steve Beerman, Norm Farmer, and Ross Cox (TASC) travelled to Da Nang, Vietnam to inspect the location chosen to host the World Water Safe
In early November, a group of ILS representatives including Dr Steve Beerman, Norm Farmer, and Ross Cox (TASC) travelled to Da Nang, Vietnam to inspect the location chosen to host the World Water Safety Conference and Exhibition in 10-13 May 2011. World Water Safety 2011, hosted by Royal Life Saving Society Australia and The Alliance for Safe Children, aims to highlight the global burden of drowning and advances in the science of lifesaving and drowning prevention, as well as acting as a catalyst for action to reduce this hidden epidemic.
During the site inspection the group was taken into the countryside on bicycles, a popular local form of transport, allowing them to experience daily life in the many rural villages that dot the waterways around the city of Hoi An. Snaking its way past rice paddies, fish farms, bridges and villages, the group was able to reflect on the opportunities that Da Nang will provide to inspire drowning prevention and lifesaving people, irrespective of their own domestic challenges.
“Literally a few minutes away from the first class conference facilities, we were thrust into the realities of drowning prevention and lifesaving in developing countries. Drowning fields’ was my initial reaction, as we cycled past rickety bridges, houses sitting on edges of large expanses of agricultural waterways, and men employing crude fishing techniques in a daily routine, all highlighting the challenges of risk, exposure, skills, and equipment that we face, Dr Beerman said.
After returning to Da Nang, the group spent some time with the local lifeguards who are charged with protecting thousands of locals each day. Using rudimentary rescue devices crafted from locally available materials, the lifeguard service operates between the hours of 4.30-7.30am and 5 ” 7.30pm every day, in a reflection of local user demand and cultural practices.
“When I asked the lifeguards why people do not use the beach during daytime, they stated that people were too busy working, were cautious about sunburn and used the beach as part of their daily morning exercise routine, Mr Cox said.
Da Nang provides a full range of hotel and conference facilities, long white sandy beaches, and close proximity to four UNESCO sites. Situated in Central Vietnam, conference participants will be able to use Da Nang as a springboard to explore the north and the south of Vietnam.