Vacswim is a program that has been conducted and enjoyed on Kangaroo Island for may years.
Vacswim is a Surf Life Saving program that provides children aged 5-15 an opportunity to develop a range of skills in water safety, personal survival techniques and basic aquatic emergency procedures.
Such skills are fundamental for Kangaroo Island children.
This year, however, due to the devastation caused by the fires, there were many changes made to the Vacswim program, all of which, families responded to remarkably.
With the dangers posed by the fires, Emu Bay Vacswim could only be conducted for three of the five days, and the Vivonne Bay Vacswim had to be relocated to Emu Bay for the following week.
Despite this, it was amazing to see so many families still in attendance, with Emu Bay seeing a total of 168 students, Penneshaw with 40 and Vivonne Bay with 60.
Vacswim is an extremely beneficial program, that aims to provide children with skills such as CPR, endurance swimming, survival strokes and basic first aid, all of which are essential for life, particularly when living on an island.
I would like to thank everyone who made this years program possible, so to the parents and caregivers, my staff, Deb Laver, Georgie Sullivan, Samara Golder, Gaje Allison, Tash Nolan and Diedre Couchman, thank you for all of your support and for making this year's program so special. - Rhana Berlin, Instructor in Charge
Meanwhile, Kangaroo Island swimming instructor Bec Bennett held her Swim KI - Water Safety and Awareness program at Parndana in December just prior to the major bushfire destruction.
Bec said she had another amazing year of enrollments with 150 children. "The weather was kind to us with very warm temperatures in the 30s," she said. "With the advance warning of the catastrophic day for Friday 20, I was able to shuffle and adjust scheduled times to allow for longer sessions on the Thursday."
"A big thank you to all families and instructors for being flexible and accommodating. Instructors this year Melissa Holman, Holly Muecke, Georgie Sullivan Assistant Alex Bennett. We all had a great week with all children enjoying the warmer water this year."