In this PE assessment, we learned to apply risk management strategies to outdoor activities associated with the water/beach such as snorkelling and swimming. Our class practiced snorkelling skills (ie. Clearing snorkels, equalising, dolphin kicking) in the school pool and at Picnic Bay/Mangawhai which was preparation for snorkelling at Goat Island marine reserve. We analysed the possible risks and hazards that could occur during these activities and the factors that may cause them. As a class, we had to come up with strategies to prevent these risks and hazards to insure everybody’s safety. (Strategy 1)
In any activity relating to water, the biggest issue would be someone drowning or getting lost out to sea due to strong currents which may lead to an even worse scenario such as death. So we decided that having safety buddies was a suitable strategy to apply to these risks. We had to pair up with a classmate and they would be your safety for whatever activity. We did not have designated safety buddies so we paired up with different people most of the time. A safety buddy’s job is to make sure your buddy was fine and dandy and nothing was wrong, insuring each other’s safety.
If your buddy was in danger or in distress, it would be your job to aid him or notify a supervisor depending how severe the situation was. For example, my safety buddy was Joshua. I unluckily suffered a muscular cramp in my calf when we were in the estuary (Picnic Bay). This situation could easily escalate to a more severe situation, but I was able to tell my safety buddy Joshua that I was in distress and he notified Ms Parkinson (supervisor) who told me to swim back ashore before carrying on any further into the strong currents.
Another example would be when we were at Goat island, when we were exploring the waters, only one of you are allowed to dive down under at a time while your safety buddy had to watch over you. This made sure we were supervised by someone at all times so we did not lose one another. If we were allowed to dive whenever we wished, we could easily lose sight of each other and split up. This strategy is relevant to these risks during snorkelling because it is suitable for any outdoor activity that involves a group or class that lack a number of parent or teacher supervisors, since 1 or 2 upervisors cannot always keep an eye of every single student. So relying on classmates was better and efficient alternative. I think this has a positive effect on us students because our safety lies in the hands of our classmates, so it requires us to be more responsible and cooperative, hence it aspires us to be a more responsible, sensible and mature person working better with others. In my opinion, we should’ve been entitled/assigned to a buddy so that the person you were paired up with would be your buddy at all times.
This could potentially save a bit more time before starting activities where as we would have to choose anyone before each activity. Also this could improve our social kills, working better with others and having a chance to get along with everyone. (Strategy 2) Throughout these activities we used equipment such as snorkel & masks, flippers and wetsuits. Knowingly, the gear that we used required certain care to prevent any damage to them. if the equipment was damaged in any way then we’d have to replace or pay for the damages inflicted to the gear. especially when we were at Goat Island, where we hired the gear.
All of them needed to fit properly or else they could pose multiple issues to us. We also used suitable gear to protect us from several risks we would encounter in the water. Risks such as getting sunburnt, and also our hair was an issue as it would get in the way and get caught in your mask. So the risk management strategies we used were looking after the gear, providing adequate care, and make sure the equipment was a suitable for you. For example, when we were snorkelling in the water, if the masks were too loose and did not seal tightly, water would seep through into the mask which may become an irritation when in the water.
Your flippers needed to fit properly and feel comfortable. If they were too tight they would eventually begin to hurt your feet and if they were too loose they would fall off. For me, if the flippers did not fit comfortably, it made me more vulnerable to foot or leg cramps, which could possibly advance to a more dangerous situation. At Goat island we hired wetsuits, which provided sun protecting when we were in the water since the sunscreen would’ve been washed off. We were also provided with head caps which help keep out hair in place and prevent foreign organism from getting in there. e were advised not to sit on the rocks , as this would scratch holes onto the backside of the wetsuit. Having these risk management strategies for our equipment was relevant since the gear we used at Goat Island were not our own and were hired locally, it meant extra caution and care would be needed when using their equipment. Not applying these strategies could create potential risks which could jeopardize our safety. These strategies allowed us to snorkel comfortably in the water without complication such as getting burnt or constantly adjusting your mask.
Also when we were done with the gear, no damage was inflicted to any equipment. When we were practising snorkelling in-school. We should have had our own snorkel and flippers to use. Since a people were complaining about the sizing on the flippers and snorkels. OR each student should’ve chosen their flippers and snorkels at the very beginning of the assessment, and they would keep and use them throughout the whole standard. This could be a better alternative than students having to try on the gear and find out which one fits for them at the beginning of each period when snorkelling. Strategy 3) We identified that the weather was a risk as it can affect us in a lot of ways. Factors such as how strong and direction of winds, tides, currents and swells could affect our safety and determined how good our snorkel experience will be. Checking the weather forecast prior to doing our activities/going on trips was a relevant strategy to this risk because it gave us a fair idea on what to expect, allowing us to prepare for what additional things we’d have to bring or if we decide whether or not to postpone the trip.
We would have to check the weather ourselves the day before we wanted to do any activity. Ms Parkinson would check as well and show the class, for those who didn’t check. When we were preparing to go to Mangawhai and Goat island we check the winds, tides, currents and swells together as a class and decide whether the conditions were suitable or not. At our first Mangawhai trip, and also the Goat Island trip, the weather was expected to be good, sunny/ clear skies, so we brought sunscreen and a hat(if you wanted to) to protect us from the sun and getting sunburnt.
On our second trip to Mangawhai , the weather wasn’t as great, as there were strong winds, strong currents and big swells. This meant the visibility wasn’t very good in the water, and the strong wind caused us to become very cold quickly, especially when we got out of the water. We brang warm clothing such as a sweater, track pants etc, to keep warm since getting hypothermia could have possibly been a risk. Some people (Bryn and William) brung their own wetsuits when we went to Mangawhai so that they’d stay warm in the water.
This strategy helped us prepare and adapt to the weather so that none of us were really affected significantly. Next time, extra dates should be reserved when going on out of school trips such as Picnic bay (Mangawhai). Since the weather on one of the trips weren’t very good because of strong winds, currents and big swells, which limited our time in the water because of people, such as myself, became colder more quickly. Postponing to a reserved day where the weather was better(hopefully), would mean a better snorkelling experience, and would lessen the chances of people getting a cold or hypothermia.