More pressure on swim instructors after Syrian girl's drowning

no image
No image availableNL Times

Swim instructors and lifeguards experience more work pressure and stress since the drowning of 9-year-old Syrian girl Salam at a swimming lesson in Rhenen two years ago, according to a survey conducted by association Sport and Municipalities, RTV Utrecht reports. 

The survey was conducted among 977 volunteers, seasonal workers and professionals at 588 swimming pools throughout the Netherlands. The majority of respondents were professional lifeguards and instructors. 

Over 40 percent of respondents reported experiencing more work pressure since Salam's drowning at 't Gastland pool in Rhenen. Almost 10 percent experience less job satisfaction and more stress. Almost all respondents said they feel more responsibility after the fatal accident. 

Andre de Jeu, director of the association, calls for the establishment of a national reporting point for incidents at swimming pools. In this way pool employees can analyze and learn from incidents and continuously improve safety. "Of course pool staff work according to a safety protocol, but by talking about it at work you ensure that you also comply with the rules and keep each other sharp", he said to the broadcaster.

Salam was found dead in the pool after a swimming lesson in 2015. Two primary school teachers and three swim instructors were prosecuted for her death. The two teachers were acquitted, but the three instructors were convicted of death through negligence and sentenced to community service.

The survey also found that most lifeguards and swim instructors in the Netherlands are aware of Salam's case.


Related stories