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Water safety info for tourists

Wednesday July 03, 2013 Written by Published in Economy

Thousands of brochures with information about water safety are being distributed to tourist accommodation sites on Rarotonga.

The brochures are one of the first tasks to be tackled by the recently formed Cook Islands Water Safety and Surf Lifesaving Council Inc (CIWSSLCI). They include information on where to swim, who to contact if something goes wrong and what to do if you become caught in a current.

So far 2700 brochures have been printed by CI News, with more to come.

They will be delivered by CI Tourism staff to holiday homes and resorts to help inform tourists about water safety on Rarotonga.

CI Tourism Corporation’s director of destination development Metua Vaiimene said the brochures will be delivered to all holiday homes, including those that are not currently accredited under the CI Tourism Corporation.

“The idea is as many people as possible will get this information.”

Vaiimene said water safety issues have been more common among tourists staying in private holiday homes that do not have a 24-hour reception desk.

“We’re finding it’s mostly people staying at holiday homes that might not always have people on site. With the bigger resorts there might be more interaction between staff and guests, and in that opportunity hosts can point out water safety information.”

There are around 100 holiday homes and 12 resorts on the list to receive the brochures

The brochures are one of the first tasks to be tackled by the Cook Islands Water Safety and Surf Lifesaving Council Inc.

CIWSSLCI deputy chair Shannon Saunders said the association is pleased to have the brochures ready for distribution and is grateful to Tourism for their support.

The focus on improving water safety comes after two New Zealanders drowned in the Avaavaroa passage at Vaimaanga on December 11.

There are three main areas of interest in the council’s constitution: water beyond the reef, such as fisherman safety, water between the land and the reef, such as putting signs up to inform the public of potential danger, and on-land search and rescue operations.

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