It is not always easy to detect the forces that prevail under water. But there are streams along most beaches.
Last year, 88 people died from drowning in Norway. Almost all drownings occur outdoors, according to the Rescue Company.
At Orrestranda in Klepp, children will now learn to become better acquainted with what is sometimes a demanding sea.
Odin Ovesen thinks the arrangement on the beach seemed exciting. And despite the cormorant 12 degrees in the North Sea, he does not regret that he signed up.
– It has been very nice and I would recommend this to others, he says.
Filip Sirevag agrees. He says that he normally swims more in the pool than in the sea, and wanted to jump in the waves.
– It was very nice. Lots of waves and sickly cold, he says.
Did you notice the currents?
– Yes very. We were here first and after ten minutes we were over there. So I felt it was very strong, says Sirevag and points in the direction where they drifted with the ocean current.
Better acquainted with the sea
With municipal funds, Jæren Friluftsråd now arranges free swimming school for children around 10-13 years.
– It is important that they have knowledge of how they can save others and themselves, says Oddrun Aksnes, center manager for Jæren Friluftsråd.
This is the first time Jæren Friluftsråd offers such a course. The course takes place in collaboration with Delfinen swimming school in Stavanger, and will have an preventive effect on accidents.
– Norway has the world’s second longest coastline, but is one of the few countries that does not have a lifesaving service along our beaches, says Ingjerd H. Haarstad, general manager of Delfinen swimming school.
Haarstad believes that being able to swim in a pool is something completely different than swimming in the sea. Her goal is to make children feel safe in waves and to teach them how ocean currents work.
– Even the weakest currents go faster than we can swim, so it’s like walking on a treadmill. If we do not have knowledge of this, accidents and drownings can occur, she says.
– More realistic
The new curriculum for physical education in primary school states that pupils must “understand and carry out life saving in, on and by water in nature”. Aksnes thinks the competence goal of outdoor swimming training and lifesaving is important.
– It is more realistic for them to be out at sea. They should not only be able to swim and perform lifesaving in a pool, but should also be able to do it out in nature. Then it is important that they get to try their hand at nature, says Aksnes.
Ingjerd H. Haarstad says that there are many myths about underwater currents. According to her, these currents do not drag you down to the bottom or lead you far out to sea.
If you should still be unlucky and end up in an ocean current, her advice is clear.
– Then you should flip backwards and lie on your back, float to rest and follow the current. In 80 percent of the cases, the currents take you in a loop back to the beach, says Haarstad.