Sailor Darryl jumps on board with water safety for kids initiative

After hearing about all the drownings in and around the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth resident Darryl Garner, 36, took the initiative to get underprivileged, young children water smart.
Garner has a big heart for children. He also has a passion for sailing. Darryl has the best of both worlds now as he gets to train the kids to sail while teaching them to be water safe.

Darryl and a few of his mates from South African Sailing approached Coca Cola to get on board this initiative. “Phil Gutsche is a sailor, and we wanted to begin a sailing facility at North End Lake and they came on board,” he said.

Garner has been teaching sailing for about five years.
“I’ve been teaching sailing at Redhouse Yacht Club for roughly 5 years but mostly to affluent people.
“I thought that by bringing it closer to the city, I could get use of the North End Lake and open it to all walks of life.
“My main focus is to teach water safety through sailing as I’m sick of hearing of young children drowning because they think a 2l bottle in their underpants would keep them afloat.”

Initially the idea was to teach sailing to underprivileged children but it’s grown into more than that.
“Once I realised how insecure the children were in the water, I knew I had to do something. It has since evolved into water safety and what to do in case of emergencies in the water.

Darryl works with kids from Helenvale, Hillcrest, Isaac Booi and Daniels primary schools every Monday and Thursday afternoon during the summer months.

“Each session is two schools with 10 children. We go through practical water safety, riding on a boat (two of the 40 kids have been on a boat before) and learning to trust a life jacket,” he said.

Go check out this initiative on Facebook CCBSA Water Safety Centre. If you are keen to get on board, contact Darryl on 074 587 2194

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