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Bruce Hopkins and Craig Riddington launch ‘Float to Survive’ water safety initiative



Lifesaving legends Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins and Craig Riddington have today launched ‘Float to Survive’ – a water safety initiative that aims to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths caused by drownings in Australia each year.

Launched at the annual conference of the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguards Association (APOLA) in Wollongong, the release of the initiative (which the pair have been developing on for several years) follows one of the deadliest seasons on record for beach drownings in Australia – during which 86 lives were lost, an increase of 30% from the previous summer.

‘Float to Survive’ calls for immediate change in how swimmers are advised to act when caught in an ocean rip by advocating floating, which minimises drowning by conserving energy and placing a person in a better position to breathe.

Developed by not-for-profit organisation Surf Educators International (SEI), Documentation on ‘Float to Survive’, advises that “it reduces physical fatigue caused by the instinct to fight and swim. It is a basic skill that is can be accessible and affordable to the wider population. It can be delivered to local swimming pools and beaches across Australia.”

Advising of the need for ‘Float to Survive’, Hopkins stated “I’ve witnessed too many drownings occurring by people trying to swim or struggle when caught in a rip – our philosophy is if you can float you will have a much greater chance of survival.

“Floating is the single most important lifesaving skill that we can teach people because it allows them to conserve their energy and gives them vital time either to be rescued or to reach safety.

“We cannot have another summer like the one that has just passed – it is such a senseless waste of lives.”

Hopkins, President of Surf Educators International (SEI), is Chief Lifeguard at Waverley Council with over 30 years of experience and who also appears on the hit TV series, Bondi Rescue that has run for 16 seasons.

Riddington, founder of SEI, Sis a former Surfing Ironman Champion and Australian representative swimmer who has been described as “the greatest ocean swimmer of all time”.


Click here for more information on ‘Float to Survive’ on the SEI website.

Image: Bruce Hopkins and Craig Riddington launch the ‘Float to Survive’ water safety initiative.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

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