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DLRG and “Ein Herz für Kinder” – This is how we help children learn to swim

Most children are water rats. But getting a seahorse is not easy.

There are currently 200 children on the waiting list of the German Lifesaving Society (DLRG) in the Hamburg district of Altona in order to obtain this swimming badge. Nationwide there are 70,000!

“Ein Herz für Kinder” has provided one million euros since 2020 so that children can learn to swim. The BILD aid organization supports the DLRG Altona, for example, to shorten the waiting list at least a little.

For one year, “Ein Herz für Kinder” will pay the personnel costs for an additional swimming instructor. Federal volunteer worker Stephan Wolf (19) is now helping to turn children into little seahorses.

“This means we can teach about 30 more children a year. And every swimming badge can save lives, ”says Altona’s DLRG district manager Arto van der Meirschen (53).

As many children as possible should learn to swim quickly! That is why the DLRG is now offering additional intensive swimming courses nationwide with the large “A Heart for Children” summer campaign.

Finally seahorses!

Thanks to the support of “Ein Herz für Kinder” (A Heart for Children), the DLRG in Erding, Bavaria, was able to get everything children need to learn to swim – boards, pool noodles, swimming rings – and also offer additional intensive swimming courses as part of the “A Heart for Children” summer campaign .

Jürgen Hartmann (71), head of the Erding district association: “We are very pleased that we now have new equipment and that we can currently equip two beginners’ swimming courses with it.”

Overall, “Ein Herz für Kinder” has helped more than 24,000 children learn to swim since last summer.

And the BILD aid organization continues! So that even more children can swim 25 meters, jump from the edge of the pool and get a diving ring out of shoulder-deep water. So that in the end you will hold your seahorse in your hand, the first step on the way to safe swimming.

DLRG lifeguard Jonah saved the life of a twelve-year-old

DLRG lifeguard Jonah (16) knows how important it is for our little ones to learn to swim safely.

In mid-June he was on the Elbe in a DLRG Altona lifeboat when the three-person crew noticed a girl in the water who was in distress. The 16-year-old didn’t hesitate for a second and jumped into the water to save the twelve-year-old from drowning.

He had never suspected that Jonah would become a lifesaver that day. Because the day starts calmly for the three-person crew on the DLRG lifeboat. The 16-year-old on BILD: “We took the boat along the beach. For me it was only my third weekend of watch at the DLRG Altona. Up to that day I had done a lot of rescue exercises, but never had to use them in action. “

At the level of the Elbe beach in Blankenese, the DLRG crew became aware of the helpless girl in the water, and there was also excitement on the bank.

Panic on the Elbe beach and in the water

“We couldn’t see the situation immediately. Many people stood on the bank and watched the scene, then a young man jumped into the Elbe and swam towards the girl, ”explains Jonah.

A treacherous situation: Because the current is strong, even experienced swimmers can quickly lose control here. “At that moment it was clear to me: Now you have to apply what you have learned in all the exercises,” explains the 16-year-old.

Jonah jumped into the water, tucked the exhausted girl under his left arm and at the same time supported the 19-year-old, who asked him for help because he himself no longer had any strength.

The DLRG crew rescues the two of them from the Elbe and pulls them into the safe boat. The twelve-year-old was exhausted, trembling and had to be reassured by the lifeguards. Jonah to BILD: “Afterwards she said that she can’t swim at all.”

The 16-year-old will always remember this mission: “I am glad that we are getting such a good training at the DLRG and that we can really help in an emergency. But I would like to see many more children learn to swim so that they can move safely in the water. ”

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