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  1. A full length educational film.


In colonial times drowning was so rife it was known as 'the New Zealand death'. This jaunty 1951 educational film is an effort to rid our lakes, rivers and seas of the unfortunate tag through cunning reverse psychology, as swimmers, fishermen and skylarking lads learn "how to drown". It eschews the confrontational realism of many a later PSA for the light-hearted approach: mixing lessons on water safety with silent film-style tomfoolery, gallows humour and the odd bit of sexual innuendo. Features footage of surf lifesavers using the now-archaic rope and reel.

Credits (4)

 Michael Forlong
 John Morris
 Geoffrey Brent

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Comments (2)



Where was this film made? The swimming instructor looks a lot like me, and I'm wondering if I'm related O_o

 WaterSafe Auckland Inc.

WaterSafe Auckland Inc.

Love the treatment of such a serious subject. What's scary is that five decades later nothing has changed - only now it would be in colour.


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 Better Safe than Sorry


A short treatise on the art of drowning which, if studied carefully, will explain exactly how to go about this operation. 
Just a happy family scene: father making a job of the lunch, mother engrossed in ‘purple passion’ ... and two small boys jumping into the pool that might contain hidden snags; here’s little daughter aged five, floating in a motor tube, which looks as though it’s about to float out into the mainstream ... and the baby doing a little exploring on her own.