Drowning prevention has been engaging our mind to reduce if not eliminate deaths due to drowning specially among children. It is well known that children between 5 to 10 years are extremely vulnerable to drowning accidents particularly in areas along the coast or served by rivers, canals and water bodies.

The causes for drowning accidents are many - like not appreciating the dangers that accompany living near a water body, lack of safety consciousness and absence of supervision of the vulnerable.  

Additionally, the growing population in India and greater concentration of people living in clusters leads to a misplaced sense of well being but it also contributes to loss in concentration to ensure safety of children. Some statistics collated by ILSF and put out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are alarming:

55% of children who drown are in the age group of 5 to 14 years. 
•  4 out of 5 of all drowning deaths are of children under the age of 18 years.
Drowning rate dramatically increases as teenagers become young adults.


About Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India), RLSS (I)

The Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India) came into being on 2 August 1998 through an understanding signed between representatives of the Royal Life Saving Society (Commonwealth), the Royal Life Saving Society (Australia), the Indian Maritime Foundation and RLSS (I).

RLSS (I) first learnt about Life Saving and then for the next two years set about showing people elements of "First Aid" and "Life Saving" and how simple skills acquired by people could equip them with the ability to save lives.

Observing RLSS (I)'s work and thrust towards safety, Pune Municipal Corporation General Body appointed RLSS (I) an "Honorary Consultant" for safer swimming in Pune in December 2000. This was when Pune lost 7 to 9 lives in drowning accidents every summer. RLSS (I) set about developing "Pool Rules", training Lifeguards and introducing water management systems.

The trained lifeguards began manning pools, as a result of which by 2010 death rate came down to Zero in Pune.

The Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India) is a Full (Voting) Member of the International Life Saving Federation and a branch of the Royal Life Saving Society (Commonwealth).


RLSSI Initiatives

In fifteen years of its existence RLSS (I) has expanded to become PAN India Organisation. It provides leadership in lifesaving activities through training and operations by its four Zone's (North, East, South & West) and trainers with international accreditation, latest training equipment and techniques.

Awareness & Training Programs

RLSS (I) awareness programmes are fun and educational activities that provide students with a practical approach to familiarizing themselves with the concept of safety both on land and in water. The programmes teach and empower students to live safer lives and assist in a rescue. Their programmes are specially designed to develop alertness among children and parents to recognize and understand dangers.

For this purpose, the Society offers education packages through the following programmes:

•  First Aid
Swim N Survive
Earn While You Learn
Swim with a Buddy
Keep Watch
Road Safety

The Society also conducts public training courses which empower candidates with the knowledge and skills to assist in case of an emergency.

The courses offered are:

•  First Aid and CPR Training
•  Rookie Lifesaver Training
•  Life Saver Training
•  Pool Lifeguard Training
•  Beach Lifeguard Training
•  Swim N Survive
•  Advanced Resuscitation
•  Rescue Boat Operator Training
•  Rescue Watercraft Operator Training

'Swim n Survive' is a swimming and water safety initiative of RLSSI that seeks to increase these skills in children in order to prevent drowning and increase participation in safe aquatic activity.

It teaches one to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. It is aimed primarily at children but people of all ages should be able to meet this minimum standard in swimming. The State of Kerala has implemented this programme through RLSS (I).

Major current development and/or aid programmes:

•  Swim and Survive
•  Lifesaving Sports


Kerala – Trivandrum – Kottayam  + 7 more Districts   
Maharashtra – Mumbai – Pune – Karad – Kolhapur
Karnataka – Bangalore - Mangalore    
West Bengal  – Kolkata – Diga Beach     

Life Saving Sports

RLSSI conducts certified courses in lifesaving sports for coaches and officials, inviting them and others interested to learn and update themselves in the rules of the game and how to organise and conduct them.

Lifesaving Sport is the only sport in which the skills are first learnt for humanitarian purposes and only then applied to competition. Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) is the Indian governing body for competitive lifesaving - a sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee at the behest of International Life Saving Federation.

Lifesaving Sport comprises a variety of competitions to further develop and demonstrate Lifesaving skills.

They can be categorised into two basic categories:

Pool and Still Water Events 
•  Beach Events
•  Surf and Ocean Events

RLSS (I) has been holding "Rescue (India)" National Championships both in Pool, Beach, Surf and Ocean Events every year since 2004.

Life Guard Services

RLSSI trains and provides professional life guards at aquatic venues such as swimming pools and beaches. Lifeguards are equipped with modern communication systems, rescue equipment, water crafts and advance life support systems. As stated earlier, Pune has benefited immensely from this initiative of the Society.

Aquatic Risk Consultancy 

RLSS (I) and its units have considerable experience in rescue operations, having initiated training of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the country. It has also been appointed as consultant to various local councils in matters relating to aquatic safety. Through regular advocacy, consultancy, safety audits and risk assessments, RLSS (I) aims to educate the vulnerable and develop new methods to improve safety and administration at venues.

The Society provides:

•  Consultancy 
Safety Audits
•  Risk Assessment
•  Safety Management Services