Recently I have read so many articles about refugees from Syria crossing the dangerous seas wearing not much but a lifejacket (sometimes a dodgy one…) that my mind is completely set on feeling on edge any time I see the photograph of someone seating half way in the water wearing a life jacket. My pulse starts going faster and my stomach feels heavy. I feel sorry for the poor people having had to leave home to travel to far away place just to be safe and more importantly to have to risk their life in the process by just crossing the sea…
So a few days ago I was sitting in a “Air Asia” flight between Singapore and Kota Kinabalu (Borneo) and I was in stitches when reading that I could get prosecuted if I had the bad idea to “steal” the life jacket from under my seat… why on Earth would I even want to do this… my bag is overloaded as it is with all the bits and bobs I collect on my way places without wanting to uplift a very bulky aged life jacket… Why would anyone want to do this?
But over the past few days I have been spending a bit of time near an hotel pool with quite a few people from China, Korea, Malaysia, even Cambodgia… and to my surprise I have seen many of them off all ages floating in the pool wearing the bulky mentioned earlier life jackets (including very young children). I suddenly understood poor “Air Asia” trouble with their lost life jackets… South Asian can not swim… they dont learn when being children, they don’t have access as we do in the UK with our numerous “public” pools, they don’t get dragged as children to group sessions… and many many adults I have seen recently do not have this essential life skill or just child fun skill of swimming.
My lady just above is not a poor refugee having just had crossed the sea looking for better tomorrows… she is a “nouveau riche” from Korea with her little girl enjoying a very expensive pool in Borneo but she simply cant swim and as such can not teach her child this simple skill.
You never before looking around know your luck and its so easy to take things for granted… when I float around relaxing in the warm water I feel blessed knowing that if I had to cross the sea in a crisis time I could swim about if I did not have a life jacket… but who else could in the crowd enjoying themselves with me today.
Please get South East Asia to learn to swim… its such a life saving skill… and it will allow Air Asia to relax a bit.