Swimming Pool: Boating Skills and Cold Water Safety

Note: Demonstration in shallow wading pool. Always use PFDs, and supervise closely!

In the controlled, safe environment of the swimming pool, students will learn basic boat handling skills with their own boats, and spend ample time getting familiar with the stability characteristics of their boats. Intentional, playful swamping of the boats is encouraged to get the students comfortable with the feel of the swamped boat, and the idea of always staying with a swamped boat. Among other exercises, students will practice swimming fully clothed, with and without PFDs (shallow pool). Ample adult supervision required (1 per boat--group of 4-5 students--plus trained pool lifeguards), and demonstration/rating of student's swimming abilities prior to participation.

The pool is also an excellent forum for teaching cold water survival skills such as group huddles and donning survival suits. Coast Guard auxiliary and AMSEA have developed childrens boating safety curricula.

We'll motivate the boating/water safety segment with a class writing assignment and oral presentation of each child's personal "sea story adventure" (most Alaskan children have had some anxious moment on the water). Parent presentations might provide some more graphic, and didactic, examples.

Opportunity to study historical (RNLI museum photo exhibit) and modern (visit to USCG Station Juneau) ocean rescue techniques.

Resources - Links to other children's boating safety programs:

Back to: Boatbuilding: An Integrated Interdisciplinary Approach for the Elementary School Classroom

Back to: Fritz's Boat Page

Contact:  Fritz Funk (fritzf@alaska.net)