3 '

Safe Water Sports

Safe Water Sports is a non-profit organization founded in June 2015 with the interest of providing information and raising awareness to the general public on safety matters related to recreational water activities and water sports with great emphasis on safety standards and the prevention of drownings and sea-based accidents.

The Organization, that operates in Greece and Cyprus, focuses on the awareness and sensitization of citizens, mostly children, on all matters relating to both water and sea activities (sports and recreation), emphasizing on safety and accident-prevention issues and the implementation of actions in collaboration with the Private and Public sector aiming at the reinforcement of safety issue at the aquatic environment.

Greece is ranked 11th globally in the list of countries with the longest coastline (13,676 kilometers). Each year 50,000 European citizens are injured while doing water sports, whereas in our country, 325 deaths occur each year in the sea. Drowning is considered as the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1-14 years of age.

Safe Water Sports initiative was launched as a result of a tragic incident that occured in the summer of 2014 in Mykonos island, when a 10-year-old boy, named Michael Paschalakis, lost his life while doing water sports with his friends. Michael’s father, Mr. Panagiotis Paschalakis, is the founder and President of Safe Water Sports.

The main goals of the Organization are to:

– Strengthen the wider institutional framework related to water safety through legislative and organization initiatives
– Support the work of the state (Coast Guard) in order to monitor in a more efficient way the implementation of safety rules in the aquatic environment
– Provide citizens’ awareness through awareness campaigns regarding safety in the water
• Educate children at schools
– Certify water sports centers (in cooperation with TUV Austria Hellas) through the “watersports certified quality” model

Social impact-Success stories:

• In 2015, the 80% of water sports centers didn’t have a valid license (and therefore the Port Authority could not inspect their operation), whereas nowadays 100% of water sports centers are licensed and inspected on a regular basis.

• Since 2015, the total number of lifeguards on the beaches increased by 20%. The coverage of their positions increased by 28%, thereby reaching the 78%.

• The number of inspections carried out by port authorities has increased five times more (15,000 inspections on an annual basis) due to the Integrated Information System that was donated by Safe Water Sports.

• During 2016-2019 more than 150,000 children were informed – educated at schools while prior to 2015 an action like that did not exist. 

• Safe Water Sports created the 1st educational program regarding safety guidelines in the sea, in the swimming pool and in water sports.

• Safe Water Sports formed a three-year statistical report based on sea-based accidents and drownings in Greece.

• Safe Water Sports partnered with TUV Austria Hellas to create the 1st private protocol in Europe regarding the certification of water sports centers. 

• In more that 500 beaches in Greece, public authorities have installed Safe Water Sports awareness signs regarding the safety regulations in the sea and in water sports.

• 3 informational-awareness centers operate on beaches during summer time, giving the chance to children to participate and learn about water safety guidelines at no cost.

• Greece is the 1st country in the world that established the National Day for the Prevention of Sea-Based Accidents and Drownings (11th of May)

• All safety measures in the sea and in all water – related recreational activities were enhanced through multiple legislative initiatives promoted and introduced by the Organization.

Each year:

-40,000 students are educated through the educational program of Safe Water Sports

700,000 users are informed through social media

100,000 new users are informed by using Safe Water Sports app

-children and adults are informed through 2,100 spots on TV

-200,000 citizens are informed through the distribution of awareness leaflets at highways, ferries, airports, stores etc.


Educational program of Safe Water Sports

Safe Water Sports News