Children and adults will be much safer in water after free safety lessons during the school holidays.
The free lessons, provided by Central Taranaki Safe Community Trust (CTSCT) and the Stratford District Council, funded by Contact Energy, taught the participants how to keep themselves and others safe in the water and also gave them the confidence to do so.
CTSCT safety officer Ann Coles says she was pleased with the turnout.
"The lessons were for children ages 8 and over, and there were also adult sessions as well. Those who took part learnt a lot of valuable lessons."
Making the lessons free was important for the trust, says Ann.
"It's very important both in Taranaki and around New Zealand to have the skills and confidence to be safe in the water. We're surrounded by water so teaching our community these skills at no cost is very important to us."
The free water safety lessons were an extension of the trust's January free swim lessons.
"Rather than learning how to swim, these teach participants about how to be safe."
The child lessons involved participants having water confidence as they learnt how to use ropes, sculling, survival backstroke, how to tread water and use lifejackets. The adult lessons required no water ability.
"It gives the adults confidence to go to places with water, like the TSB Pool Complex or a river or beach and be confident they know how to keep themselves, their children and others safe."
Ann says CTSCT is planning to run this again.
"Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more information."