Swim and Survival Academy


Thank you so much!

Our 7 year old son Jack Kent took one term of introductory swimming lessons with you at the end of last year. Jack's grandfather died on New Years Day and the family went to Ceduna in South Australia for the service. On the way home we stayed at a beach side resort on Glenelg Beach.

Being from Ballarat our family took to the beach even though the wind was up for a bit. For the uninitiated (as we were) Glenelg beach has two sand bars before the enticing breaking waves. Jack, being a pretty much typical 7 year old, pushed the boundaries and kept bouncing out to the big waves. We kept bringing him in. After a while playing on the beach in the sun, we were all pretty mellow and Jack said he was going to play in the wet sand.

When we looked up he was in the breaking waves out on the second sand bar, and the wind, waves and severe side ways rip had drifted him to the north of the beach area. We went to get him, but the rip was faster and before lon gthe sand bar had petered out into a deep pool where the water pushed along the beach, hit a breakwater (becoming deeper and faster) and then swung off shore. JAck got caught in the rip and in moments was not able to touch the sand beneath is feet. Amazingly Jack did not panic even when he was exhausted from dog paddling, and from getting mouthfulls of seawater.

He used his initiative and decided to keep swimming towards the breakwater rather than to shore. As we tried to get him we saw his head bobbing up and down, and when his head was down more than up I was shore I was seeing my son die. Jack paddled on and right out near the end of the breakwater he got to the rocks and hung on until we could get him. Jack was completely exhausted and had lacerations from the rocks, but he was alive. I am convinced that he was only moments away from drowning.

Thanks to the lessons you folks gave to him, and the way he learnt even basic floatation and paddling, it was enough to keep him alive. We thank God that we didn't have to bury our son as well as his grandfather.

Thank you again, I guess you as instructors never really know if the skills you teach the kids will save lives, but we know.

Jack will continue to have lessons with you, and we gladly let everyone know that your lessons saved his life.

Jack started lessons in winter, when it was rainy, cold and windy. When summer came, and it was good swimming weather, he had learnt enough of the basics to stay alive.

Cordell and Kate Kent