Safety at sea: “More training and controls”

FANO – Then drama that took place on the beach of Gimarra, which cost the life of father and sonthe debate over safety at sea. Unfortunately, what happened on Saturday, data in hand, is far less rare than one might think: to think that these misfortunes are attributable to a mere fatality does not help in what should be a path of consciousness.

To clarify this delicate issue, we asked for clarification Raffaele Perrottathe current president of the Fisa, the Italian Federation of Aquatic Rescue. It turned out that there are many aspects that must be implemented to try to make the holidays on our shores safer: “Safety is the result of an algorithm, a set of situations, involving both swimmers and lifeguards. – begins Perrotta – there are many aspects that must be taken into account, we need a global perspective “.

We asked if the current regulations are sufficient and it would be enough to respect them or a reform is needed: “It is not enough with the current and current regulations, but I think the problem is in what we can define “Lack of marine culture“: Bathers, vacationers are often unaware of current ordinances, the real meaning, for example, of the same red flag banning bathing. It is essential to create knowledge and an information awareness about it … it is desirable that this “culture of the sea” becomes a school subject, perhaps within civic education. By this path we could already avoid this 80% of dangers arising from a certain ignorance of the sea itself. Let’s take the red flag: perhaps a swimmer thinks it should indicate rough seas and instead indicates the presence of equally insidious sea currents even without the presence of breakers; the waves of the boats are also despised, which can represent a danger for the little ones even in the case of a seemingly calm sea ”.

Then it is added not knowing the sea a certain “relaxation” due to the holiday situation: “During the holidays, the risk is sure to be relativized. That is, there is a different perception of danger even with the little ones. You have what it says “Passive care”: check the little ones maybe while you talk … underestimate the pitfalls and generally overestimate your physical abilities regardless of health or actual fitness, sun exposure and other personal variables that may be determining. Only those who have made a preparation for swimming in the sea can do so the awareness of one’s own resistance and how far you can go, interpreting wind and currents, knowing how to orient yourself and much more. When all this is missing, we can also find serious episodes that can lead to drowning and the famous five phases, although we often talk about three phases: stress, panic and immersion in the head.

The other aspect to consider is the lifeguard training: “They are not always given the right tools to face the world of the sea: I mean both the preparation and the equipment. Many courses, for example, are done exclusively in the pool: the controls and exams of these figures should be much more demanding. Meet up one can move from the patent of rescue in the pool to that of the sea with bewildering ease: a rowing exam is enough. It is they themselves who are unaware of the responsibility, even legal, that weighs on their shoulders. One aspect that I like to highlight and that should be developed more and more is what I call “imagining“: We must not wait for the accident but we must learn to prevent it. This is achieved by better training those who have to control the beaches by providing proper instrumentation, also innovative. I’m not saying water bikes but that the rescue hasn’t provided not even a buoyancy vest it’s really serious; to this must be added fins and a mask. Another aspect is that of the laws: today there are 200 linear meters that a lifeguard must watch: too much considering the number of bathers. The paradox is that in the pool, read by hand, there must be a lifeguard every 25 meters … but the sea, with all its unknowns, is extremely more dangerous. Abroad, for example, even in countries where the coast and beaches are not present or are much less present than Italy, the laws are applied in a much more rigid way: I think of Switzerland and Germany; in the latter country, saving lives is a school subject. If you are in the water in the presence of bans, you risk very high fines, the same goes for the lifeguard who did not enforce the ban.

At the statistical level unfortunately it is not clear how many drowning-related deaths are: “At a statistical level we always talk about 450/500 deaths a year but they are somewhat short-sighted estimates: since there is no dedicated database, we generally speak of drowning, without distinguishing between drowning. bluein which the subject drinks water and drowns, and this whitein which death in the water is related to cardiac arrest, previous illnesses, sensitivity to temperature or the sun, the famous water shock: The latter type of drowning is not included in the statistics. If we changed the counting method, we would be faced with very different statistical data ”.

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