Lifestyle / Family

The Great Equalizer
2 minute read
23 Dec 2019
12:30 pm

Water Safety

The Great Equalizer

With Olympic swimming legend and CEO of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, Ryk Neethling.

This week on The Great Equalizer, Sam needs some alone time, Charlene is tired of being bullied, and we talk WATER SAFETY with Olympic swimming legend and CEO of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, Ryk Neethling.

This episode is TGE’s last hurrah for 2019… And it’s a biggie.

As we all break away for the festive season and head to our respective holiday destinations (or staycations), we thought it was important to educate ourselves (and you) about water safety.

As much as we want to put our heads in the sand and enjoy Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, we couldn’t ignore some of the shocking statistics – locally and worldwide – when it comes to drowning and near-drowning incidents. So, we thought we’d talk about it.

But what do we know, right? This is why we called on Olympic swimming legend and learn-to-swim advocate Ryk Neethling to offer some water wisdom.


  • According to the World Health Organisation, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
  • Young people between the ages of 1 and 20 are most likely to fall, victim.
  • A WHO report showed that drowning is one of the top five causes of death overall for people aged 1-14 years. And, in a developing country like South Africa, the problem is obviously a lot more aggravated.

Another thing that shocks us as moms is how many drowning incidents happen outside of big bodies of water – which are the usual suspects, right?

Where most people are concerned about pools and the sea, many forget about bathtubs, buckets, toilets, kiddie pools, and even puddles (considering all this rain we’ve had in SA this festive season).

A study published last year revealed that 70% of drownings in children under the age of four occur in or around the home.

So, in the latest episode of The Great Equalizer, we look into solutions and preventative measures to avoid becoming a statistic.

Listen here,


The Great Equalizer is hosted by local Joburg moms Sam Herbst and Charlene Armstrong who believe that all parents are rocking the same kind of crazy. It doesn’t matter who you were pre-kid, what colour skin you’re in, how rich or poor you are, or whether you’re gay or straight. If you’re a parent, you know what it’s like to smell your kid’s butt in public and you can probably identify with fantasising about killing your sleeping partner during a 3am a wakeup call.

Here at The Great Equalizer, we laugh, bitch and cry about the ups and downs of our current upside-down. There’s just one rule (and it’s non-negotiable)… absolutely NO JUDGIES. Okay? Okay.

*And because your hosts don’t know what the frack they’re doing 99% of the time, we touch base with experts who do. So, hey, you may just learn something too?