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Safety Suits
designed by Seafriends for the sea conditions at Goat Island
by Dr J Floor Anthoni

Swimming in the sea can be dangerous because of the cold, currents, waves, stings and deep scratches. Particularly small children are at risk. We soon discovered that these threats can be avoided by wearing a protective floating wetsuit. But it also had to be comfortable and easy to put on. So we designed our own unisuits in a great variety of sizes to fit slim 5 year olds to obese adults. Then we made them affordable to hire.

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Seafriends safety suits

Specifications: Advantages Cleanliness We spend much effor in cleaning and sterilising all snorkel and dive gear Who MUST use these suits? What can one expect?
Be safe rather than sorry!
People all too easily forget that they are swimming in the open ocean, in the Pacific Ocean, to be precise. This is not a pool or a lake, as one faces the massive forces of currents, swell and waves. Mishaps such as cramp, can then become fatal. One can be swept over a rock with serious lacerations to exposed body parts. 
Remember, experienced snorkeldivers will never enter the sea without a protective suit!

On Christmas day 2008, a young Asian man drowned while not wearing a protective suit, even though he was advised to wear one. 
On 12 January 2009 a 12-year old girl drowned in the Pakiri surf. Don't underestimate the cold as cramp can cripple you unexpectedly. Wear the Seafriends' safety suits! Be safe rather than sorry. You are in the Pacific Ocean; not in the Hauraki Gulf!

Good news for schools
The safety suits protect your children more than any other safety measure (like having more adults in the water) while giving them a pleasant experience, necessary for observing the underwater world. They can also stay much longer (typically 50-70 minutes). Another major advantage for the school's budget is that schools can take advantage of the discounts offered for terms 4 (Nov, Dec) and 2 (Apr, May). There is also a significant discount for schools who visit us for the first time, in terms 4 and 2.

Important message for schools
We notice that some schools enlist the help of casual operators who invite to experience marine reserves or to discover Goat Island, or other operators. We notice also that school children are inadequately dressed and protected and we wonder why schools have such disregard for the childrens' total experience:
  • why allow large elements of risk rather than minimise risk in the water for hypothermia, drowning, wounds and stings? Why not insist on thick, full-cover floating wetsuits?
  • why enlist operators who have limited knowledge and experience of the area and the sea? Surely this augments risk. Why not bank on Seafriends' extensive experience for over 18 years? We were the first and are best equipped.
  • why make childrens' often first encounter with the sea one of fear and discomfort? Surely the best is only good enough?
  • why not use Seafriends' facilities, lectures, rocky shore studies, movies ? Surely a total sea experience is to be preferred? Surely schools wish to maximise the trip's educational value (how much children learn)?
  • why spend money on rogue operators rather than spending it with Seafriends who fights for the sea while providing the most excellent marine education and website visited by over 1.5 million visitors each year? Your money helps us do more for the future of your children and for education at school. Think about it.
Now schools can also camp near Seafriends, which makes a visit to Goat Island more effective with evening activities and a visit to the reptile park. Seafriends has extensive educational programmes to 'edutain' for a whole week.

Good news for people who cannot swim!
Our safety suits have become popular with Asian communities, by people who have never been able to swim, and who have always feared the water. Dressed in our floating wetsuits, they learn to swim within ten minutes! All they need to learn is to trust the wetsuit's flotation and all they need for swimming is to kick their flippers. Suddenly there are no limits to where they go, and soon they can begin enjoying the magical underwater life. Tell others!

Good news for families!
Our safety suits are keenly sought by families who spend the day at Goat Island. Because of our many sizes, every member of the family is equally well protected, able to spend hours in the water. Remember, the longer one can stay and the further one can swim, the more there is to see. Going snorkelling is a family outing where even the smallest can keep up with dad.
Families often benefit from our free floats (a rubber tube with rope) and family group discounts. Think about pitching your tent at a camp site nearby and benefit from our multiple-day discount of a whopping 50%.

A complete school class is ready and keen to enter the water where they will spend the next 50-70 minutes, in full safety and comfort, discovering the underwater world.
The lead group is away and less proficient swimmers soon follow as there is at least one instructor with float for 10 children. This is the Pacific Ocean! Notice the yellow caps that tell this group apart from others.
No matter how far one goes or how deep the bottom, one can rest assured of total protection.
Let the magic begin. A snorkeldiver plays with inquisitive baby trevallies. Notice the use of a hood to stop 50% heat loss.

Seafriends Marine Conservation & Education Centre and Café: 7 Goat Island Rd; Leigh; Ph/Fx 094226212  e-mail.