Stop child death by drowning in Thailand

On Samui there is no government school with a swimming pool and not one public funded swimming pool at all. Therefore opportunities to learn to swim for Thai children enrolled in government schools is negligible.

For Samui children this is particularly sad because we are surrounded by the sea which attracts visitors from around the world but without swimming and water safety classes the ocean presents more risk than recreation for local children.

Swim4Life water safety program is for children aged between 10-12 from local government schools. Led by a Rotary team of Swim Australia swimming teachers and SSA lifeguards and supported by concerned adults living on Samui both Thai and ex-pats. Hands on helpers are always welcome. Anyone aged 18+ with moderate swimming ability and a desire to help Thai children lead safer and more fulfilling lives please get involved.

The program is run at every Saturday between 10 AM and 12 Midday on a 12 week rolling program. The venue is the International School of Samui (ISS) and Rotary and the people of Samui are deeply grateful to financial support and the facilities provided by ISS. https://www.iss.ac.th

This Project benefits from the support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation https://www.fondationprincessecharlene.mc/

Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation

We need Helping Hands Can you spare 3 hours some Saturdays?

Our program for up to 40 Thai kids needs Assistant Swim-Coaches. Just basic swimming ability is all you need. Other pool-side helping hands especially Thai speakers very welcome with no swimming ability required. For everyone a BIG heart is most inportant: our Head Coaches will show you the rest.

Read full article in our PDF file here…


Percentage of deaths by drowning by age group in Thailand 2019

Teaching school-age children basic swimming water safety.

Building on successes in low- and middle-income countries.

Studies of programs in countries like Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Viet Nam show that teaching children basic swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills reduces drowning. Based on this knowledge, systematic and carefully monitored replication of such programmes will help clarify best practice.

Most recently, a study was made of almost 80,000 children aged 4–12 years who completed the SwimSafe programme in Bangladesh.

SwimSafe is a structured programme that requires children to learn 21 steps of swimming skills, typically over 14 days. The training dramatically reduced the likelihood of drowning, and was shown to be very cost-effective under the WHO-CHOICE criteria, meaning this intervention compares very favourably with other child survival interventions.

Taken from Global Report on Drowning. Preventing a leading killer. WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication ISBN 978 92 4 156478 6 (NLM classification: WA 292)


Key Facts

  • Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide
  • There are an estimated 236,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide.
  • Children and males are most at risk.
  • Low- and middle-income countries account for over 90% of unintentional drowning deaths
  • Over half of the world’s drowning occurs in the South-East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region
  • Thailand is “number one” for child deaths by drowning in ASEAN
  • Thailand’s child death by drowning rate is twice as high as the world’s average!
  • Thailand averages about 1,262 children per year or a shocking 5 kids per day!!


Thailand’s medical representative with the World Health Organization.

In response to alarming death rate statistics, has called on local administrative organizations and schools to help limit loss of life by providing training to children to ensure their safety in the water.



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With grateful support from:

Rotary Logo Keilor
Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation
Logo of International School of Samui
Rotary GWS and DP
Explore Koh Samui logo