SwimSafer is a national water safety programme in Singapore introduced in July 2010 by the National Water Safety Council (NWSC), a council appointed by the then Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
In 2013, NWSC transferred full ownership of SwimSafer to Sport Singapore. In 2014 Manulife extended their sponsorship to Sport Singapore to promote SwimSafer for 3 years.
The SwimSafer programme consists of six progressive stages, each comprising 12 hours of lesson time. Survival and activity skills are taught in each stage of the programme, working progressively toward the next stage.
At the end of each stage, each child will receive a stage completion certificate indicating his/ her individual skill achievements. A badge will be awarded upon the completion of each stage.
In addition, each child will be awarded a coloured pin upon completion of each stage 4 to 6. Currently, the Singapore Lifesaving Society (SLSS) acts as SwimSafers’ Secretariat, dealing with matters of assessment administrations.
|SwimSafer||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3||Bronze||Silver||Gold|
|Entries & Exits||Enter the water safely and confidently with slide-in entry and exit using ladder and from pool edge.||Perform a step-in entry||Perform a stride/straddle entry||Enter water using a compact jump||Demonstrate a dive entry (crouching)||Demonstrate a standing dive|
|Sculling & Body Orientation||• Recover from a face down float or glide to a standing position
• Recover from a back float or glide to a standing position
• Introduction to Floatation Survival Technique
|Demonstrate sculling in an upright position for 10 seconds with arms only.|| • Demonstrate sculling in a horizontal position for 10 seconds with arms only.
• Demonstrate the ability to change direction on command.
• Demonstrate reverse action
|Demonstrate a backward and forward somersault in the water.||Keep face above the water for 60 seconds sculling with hands only||Keep face above the water surface for 60 seconds using legs only|
|Underwater skills||Submerge in waist depth water, open eyes and blow bubbles||Search for and recover an object in chest deep water depth.||In chest deep water swim through hoops on pool bottom 2 metres apart.||• Search for and recover an object in 1.5 m of water depth.
• Demonstrate a feet-first surface dive.
|In 1.5m of water depth swim through hoops on pool bottom 3 metres apart.||• Search for and recover an object in 1.8 m of water depth.
• Demonstrate equalising of ear/nose.
|• Swim – Any stroke
• Forward movement 10 m
• Intro to Backward movement 5m
|• Swim 25m – Any stroke
• Survival Backstroke
|• Swim 50m continuously
• 25m using either Breaststroke or Front- Crawl
• 25m using either Backstroke or Survival Backstroke
|• Swim 100m Continously
• 25m Front Crawl
• 25m Breaststroke
• 25m Backstroke
• 25m Survival Backstroke or Sidestroke
|• Swim 200 m continuously
• 50m Front Crawl
• 50m Breaststroke.
• 50m Backstroke
• 50m Survival Backstroke or Sidestroke
• Efficient stroke techniques must be used
|• Swim 400m continuously
• 100m Breaststroke.
• 100m Front Crawl
• 100 m Backstroke
• 100m Survival Backstroke or Sidestroke
• Efficient stroke techniques must be used.
|Survival & Activity skills||• Support body in an upright position and signal distress.
• Grasp a flotation aid thrown for support
• Be pulled to safety
• Wearing clothing, correctly fit a PFD, jump into the water, float for 30 seconds and then climb out of deep water.
|• Swim wearing clothing for 15m.
• Demonstrate flotation survival technique
• Correctly fit a PFD, jump into the water and swim for 5 meters and climb out of deep water.
|• Swim wearing clothing for 25m
• Demonstrate ability to correctly fit a PFD in the water.
|Dressed in swimwear, shorts and t-shirt demonstrate 3 minutes swimming slowly using any appropriate swim stroke, changing each minute||• Dressed in swimwear, long pants and long sleeved shirt, perform the following as a continuous sequence:
• Enter deep water using an appropriate entry method
• Submerge feet first, swim underwater for 3 meters.
• Resurface scull, float or tread water for 3 minutes waving for help intermittently.
• Clothing may be removed.
• Correctly fit a PFD while treading water and then swim 25 metres and climb out of the water
| Dressed in swimwear, long pants, long sleeved shirt, shoes and socks, perform the following sequence;
• Enter deep water using an appropriate entry method swim 5 metres underwater to simulate an escape form a sinking boat surrounded by oil.
• Swim a further 45 metres as if escaping from a dangerous situation.
• Remove shoes and then swim slowly for further 50 metres using any preferred swim stroke occasionally signalling for help.
• Remove clothing in deep water. Fit PFD correctly while treading water, swim 100 metres using appropriate strokes,
• Demonstrate HELP technique and climb out of the water whilst wearing the PFD
|Rescue skills|| • Throw a flotation aid to a partner at 3m distance and instruct to kick to the edge.
• Perform a reach rescue using a rigid aid and pull a partner to safety
| • Perform a throw rescue using an unweighted rope over a distance of 6m.
• Wade to a person and deliver a flotation aid in deep water.
• Approach in “Ready” position
|Using a buoyant aid, accompanied (noncontact) rescue of a person 15m from safety||Using a suitable buoyant aid, tow (noncontact) rescue of a person 10m from safety|
|Knowledge||Rules of behaviour in, on or near the water, Water safety knowledge at a swimming pool||Water safety rules in various aquatic environments||Principles of personal survival||Principles of water craft safety||Recognising an Emergency|| Principles when performing a rescue
SwimSafer Stage 1: An Introduction to Water Skills
The objective is develop confidence and independence in the water, learn general and deep-end water safety. Techniques taught include the forward and backward movement, safe entry and exit and personal water safety.
SwimSafer Stage 2: Fundamental Water Skills
General skill development including unassisted step entry into water, sculling, feet first surface dives, personal water safety skills as well as water safety in aquatic environments. Goal is to achieve 25 metres of continuous swimming.
SwimSafer Stage 3: Personal Water Survival and Stroke Developmental Skills
Principles of personal survival as well as basic rescue skills are taught. Skills include sculling, underwater skills and the use of personal flotation device. Goal is to achieve 50m of continuous swimming.
SwimSafer Stage 4 (Bronze): Personal Water Survival and Stroke Improvement Skills
Development of child’s stroke techniques is a focus here, along with coordinated breathing in deep water while swimming 100 metres. Principles of water craft safety will be introduced as well as continual work on rescue and personal survival skills.
SwimSafer Stage 5 (Silver): Intermediate Personal Water Survival and Stroke Refinement Skills
Fundamentals of diving will be introduced. Development of rescue skills and personal survival knowledge will also continue at more advanced levels. Children will be required to demonstrate efficient stroke techniques to complete stage 5
SwimSafer Gold: Advanced Personal Water Survival and Swimming Skills Proficiency
Children will be required to perform strokes with greater ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over 400 metres. Rescue skills and water safety knowledge will focus on lifesaving readiness. Standing dive and personal safety skills will continue to be taught.
This is the only program recognised by all schools, institutions in Singapore. For more information, parents can read up at: http://www.swimsafer.com.sg/