HomeNewsGreeceSwim safety will improve Greek tourism, Greek PM says

Swim safety will improve Greek tourism, Greek PM says

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Swim safety education has been prioritised as a major contributor to Greece’s quality of tourism, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday, speaking at an event on safety at sea.

Every year, nearly 350 people drown accidentally at sea in Greece, double the number of those who died of COVID-19.

Organised by nonprofit Safe Water Sports, the swim safety event promotes educational activities, allowing for children to enhance awareness of safety at sea.

“The state is obliged to upgrade the current institutional framework, and will do so. We must treat the sea with respect and the same must be done by businesses related to the sea,” he said.

“Safe seas means upgraded tourist product for Greece.”

Despite utilising an effective swim safety program, Australia also receives a high number of drownings per year. Australian and Surf Life Saving Australia show that 276 people drowned across Australia from July 2018 to June 2019, representing a 10% increase on the previous year.

Shipping & Island Policy Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis emphasised that the Greek government’s comprehensive program will help to deal with drownings at sea.

The three-pronged plan comprises of prevention, safety and control, and includes an awareness campaign for the elderly.

Speaking of his organisation, Katherimini reports, founder Panagiotis Paschalakis said he lost his son Michael, 10, during water sports with friends in 2014. He then began the nonprofit in 2015, when there was no system for informing children and young people of safety measures at sea.

On its site, Safe Water sports says that drowning in Greece is considered the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1-14 years of age.

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