The RNLI’s Swim Safe programme arrived in Fermanagh on the weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September to offer children the opportunity to learn vital water safety skills for free. The programme was run in the Share Centre in Lisnaskea, county Fermanagh with trained instructors sharing water safely advice with over 160 children.

The fun, hour-long sessions are devised to teach young people how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water. The sessions are run by qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards, supported by a team of volunteers and give children:

Up to 30 minutes of practical, in-water tuition led by qualified instructors; essential open water safety advice and a free Swim Safe goody bag take home

The programme was brought to Fermanagh by Belcoo man Damien McHugh who is involved with the RNLI through his role as Chairperson of Fermanagh GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee. The RNLI and the GAA are currently in a partnership to help prevent drowning and to give young people life-saving water safety advice through club talks with volunteer ambassadors.

Commenting on the Swim Safe weekend Damien said: “It was fantastic to see so many young people signing up for the free water safety sessions. When I learned about Swim Safe through my involvement with the RNLI / GAA life-saving partnership, I knew that the Share Centre would be the perfect location to hold it. I want to thank them for coming onboard and making it a great success.”

“I also want to thank everyone who supported this programme and signed up at short notice. I know that the children involved learned vital life-saving advice and skills, and I hope that they go on to share that advice with their friends and families.”

Ashley Jones, RNLI Swim Safe Manager, says: “We were overwhelmed by the response to the Swim Safe session in Fermanagh.”