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project 291

view video of recent Wollongong community program produced with the support of the black Spots funding

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Published research paper

Approaches for Beach Safety and Education in Ghana: A Case Study for
Developing Countries with a Surf Coast


project 291

view video of recent Wollongong community program produced with the support of the black Spots funding

Busua beach, only five hours from the Ghanaian capital city (Accra), will be home to SEA's initial program. The beach is highly populated and located on a beautiful but particularly rugged stretch of coast. This program will aim to provide proper education about swimming and surf safety to Ghanaians, as well as providing adequate surf lifesaving services on beaches. This will include:

Utilising the partners of SEI to find and train certified life guards

Two volunteer lifeguards (one doubling as a camera-woman) travelled with Cara to Ghana in July 2012. Here they undertook a coastal appraisal and a massive research project. The aims of the coastal appraisal were to determine which beaches could double as operational sites, survey the coastal conditions and begin communication with schools in coastal areas. This was successfully completed as was the research project - a study of 350 Ghanaians which targeted the local knowledge about the ocean, the scope of the drowning problem and the reception to a potential education program. Keep a watch on this space for the results and reports from our coastal appraisal!

Check out our blog entries for more information and pictures about the trip!


SEA will operate as a subsidy of SEI to establish an education centre where the core principles of swim safety in the surf can be taught to any Ghanaian

This centre will primarily be targeted at children - who are at the highest risk of drowning - but will also be open to adults. By focusing on children, SEA hopes to promote generational change which will make Ghana's beaches a safe place for both work and recreation for future generations.

  1. The core learning outcomes of the swim and surf safety school will be:
  2. Beach geography- understanding which areas of the beach are safe to swim and play (theory)
  3. Rips- identification of rip currents and training in avoiding and handling them (theory and practical)
  4. Waves- how to handle waves of different size and appropriate actions when confronted by waves (theory and practical)
  5. Entering and exiting bodies of water confidently and safely (theory and practical)
  6. Understanding and practicing signals of distress- gaining attention and receiving help in dangerous situations (theory and practical)
  7. Floating (practical)
  8. Treading water (practical)
  9. Basic swim strokes- including freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and survival stroke (theory and practical)
  10. Basic surf negotiation (practical)
  11. Identifying lifeguards/lifesavers and understanding items associated with lifesaving (e.g. red and yellow flags, warning signs, whistles, modes of attention) (theory)