Water is useful for many things including a means for travel, leisure, and consumption among others. However despite it being useful it has always been a danger to the Users life.

For example, in Uganda there are a lot of drowning cases - some reported in the media while others are not. Some of the cases in Uganda up to 2011 are as seen below;

From 2002-2008 (and one major incident that occurred in 1996), 1364 cases were reported with only 81 survivors implying a death rate of 94.06%.

In 2009 there were 33 major cases where 31 died and only 2 survived, implying a death rate of 93.9%.

In 2010 to May 2011 the major cases reported 166 casualties, out of which 154 died while 12 survived implying a death rate of 93%.

According to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission report -2010 "Lake Victoria is a risky environment to work in; up to 5,000 people lose their lives on the lake annually due to drowning."

The above estimate is only for Lake Victoria, however the Commission does not have proper evidence for the claim.

This content of open water safety deals with basic safety in water bodies such as Oceans, Seas, Lakes and even rivers.


Objectives of the Training

1. To enable water users to learn the key hazards that are in the open water
2. To enable water users to learn Basic Rules that prevent Water Users from drowning
3. To enable water users to effectively respond in emergency situations (Water accidents)


Course Contact

A. Water Hazards
• Natural
• Man Made

B. Prevention
• General water safety Rules
• Boat safety Rules
• Tips for Safe Trips

C. Boat Safety Equipments
• Personal Floating Device (Life Jackets, Buoyant Vest, Buoyant Garment)
• Caring for Life Jackets and Buoyant Aid
• Others Buoyancies such as Life Buoy etc
• First Aid Box
• Flares
• Life Rafts
• Fire Extinguishers
• Communication Device

D. Survival strategies /Techniques
What to do in an Emergency;
• Group Survival Strategy
• Cold Water Survival - Huddle
• PFD; use life jackets, life rafts, etc.
• Personal floating device (clothing used as a float)
• Survival floating on object
• Survival Sculling
• Treading
• Survival swimming strokes without a flotation
• Breast stroke
• Side stroke
• Survival back stoke

E. Basic Rescue
- Principle of Stop, Think, Act, Review
- Water safety rescue techniques used in emergencies e.g. when - Man over Board
• Reach
• Throw
• Wade
• Row

F. Emergence First Response & First Aid?


Swimming and the Lake

This is a basic level of Open Water Safety for water users. Those who have completed the theory knowledge can advance.