ILSE Member Red Cross of Serbia (RCS) organized a media event and a round table on water safety on July 7th, 2023. It was the opening for the national Water Safety Campaign “Lifesaving – Sport that saves Lives” and part of the Serbian activities for the World Drowning Prevention Day 2023.
Prof. Dr. Dragan Radovanović, President of the Red Cross of Serbia explained the history of lifesaving in Serbia and delivered an overview about the activities for drowning prevention and lifesaving sport. He introduced the idea behind the campaign.
Dr. Detlev Mohr PhD, President of the International Life Saving Federation of Europe (ILSE) introduced the ILSE as umbrella organisation, representing 54 federations out of 39 countries working in the field of Water Safety in Europe. ILSE is representing more than 5 million Lifesavers and Lifeguards all over Europe. The lifesaving federations are humanitarian, charity and sports organizations. Lifesaving sport is a showcase of the humanitarian dimension. It is the only sport with humanitarian goals. It attracts young people and improves the fitness and skills we need to rescue people in dangerous situation in rivers, lakes or ocean.
Secretary of State Mr. Keshelj, Minister of the Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Serbia, welcomed all participants and highlighted the importance of lifesaving for the society. The Ministry of Sports plans to recognize Lifesaving as a sport.
The representatives of the stakeholders for drowning prevention and sport introduced their interests, statistics and reported about their activities in the past. They discussed how to improve the swim ability of the population, e.g. of the children.
In addition to start a national campaign that will contribute to strengthening lifesaving, water safety and drowning prevention, the Red Cross of Serbia informed about:
- developed capacities, established rules and examples of good practice in the field of lifesaving that contributes to the preservation of human life
- Lifeguards from different parts of Serbia, who participates in saving human lives in their communities
- proposals for further improvements in the field of lifesaving with a special focus on water safety (medium and long-term measures – e.g National Resolutions on prevention of drowning, law on public swimming pools)
Red Cross of Serbia informed about the activities:
- organization of the Open National Championship in Lifesaving, which will take place in autumn in Serbia for the first time after 40 years
- preventive educational lectures in local communities (schools, kindergartens, public baths)
- lifesaving promotion tour during in which RSC wants to visit as many places as possible with the aim to promote lifesaving and water safety. During the campaign, the Red Cross of Serbia will invite lifeguards to practice competitive disciplines and prepare for the Open National Championship.
At the media event and expert meeting representatives of the following stakeholders took part:
– Ministry of Sport
– Ministry of Interior
- River Police
- Gendarmerie – Diving Department
- Sector for Emergency
– Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs – Directorate for Occupational Safety and Health
– Ministry of Health
– Ministries of State Administration and Local Self-Government
– Ministry of Tourism and Youth
– Institute for Public Health
– Sports Association of Serbia
– Olympic Committee of Serbia
– Public company “Srbija vode”
– higher educational institutions for sports
– the water rescue service of the Red Cross of Serbia.
Lifesaving is the keeper of the life of the members of the local community on the water and therefore sets an example and role model for young people how they can be safe on the water, contribute to the water safety of their peers and their surroundings. In the time of technological development, Lifesaving is one of the few branches of sports that, in addition to physical activity of traditional social value, develops skills and knowledge for the preservation of human life and charity.
ILSE President Dr. Detlev Mohr honored Mr. Ranko Demirovic with the ILSE Certificate of Merit for his longstanding work for water safety and water rescue in Serbia and his work in ILSE Commissions and Working Groups.
Here you will find some media and press reports: