According to Mr Michael Aller, the founder and the first Chairman of the Council, the Danish Council for Greater Water Safety began their work in the summer of 1982, when several drowning accidents took place.
Back then, the drownings accidents were registered by Falck Rescue Corps.
One of these drownings occurred on the 31st of July, 1982, when a 12 year old girl tried to swim to another sandbank with her five year old brother on her back. Her nine year old sister swam behind them, suddenly discovering that her little brother was alone in the water. She immediately swam towards him, and made him hold on to a swimming ring, she had around her belly.
At the same time, she discovered that her big sister was gone, and immediately began crying for help. But her sister was gone, and was not found till it was too late.
It is hard to forget a tragic story, where children are involved, and thus the above accident has helped to shape the Council’s advice: “Never walk alone into the water – always stay with other adults, who you know”.
On the 31st of July, 1982, Mr Michael Aller had invited a number of organizations, among them the Danish Red Cross, the Danish Police Association, the Danish Tourist Board, Sailing Safety, Falck Rescue Corps, the Danish Medical Association, the Danish Ministry of Justice, the Admiral Danish Fleet, Danish Lifesaving Society and the mayors from Trundholm and other municipalities in Odsherred, Denmark.
Additionally, he had invited the North Zealand Coastal Lifesaving Service as well as Mayor Svend Aage Nielsen from Græsted-Gilleleje Municipality and lifesaving service administration.
The purpose of the meeting was to present the municipalities in Odsherred for the 10 year old, and the only, life-saving organization in Denmark, North Zealand Coastal Lifesaving. The organization had managed to reduce drowning accidents significantly with 18 lifesaving stations distributed in the five coastal municipalities, from Elsinore to Hundested.
If the organization could be established in Odsherred, it would be of great benefit to the many residents, leisure homeowners and Danish and foreign tourists. The meeting was held at Nykoebing City Hall, but along the way it turned out that the expenses were higher than the governing forces had. The Odsinger group put their thinking cap on, while the organizations agreed that the initiative was too good to simply end here.
Before the meeting came to an end, it was decided to continue a series of meetings with secretarial support from the Danish Red Cross, and under the leadership of Mr Michael Aller. The first meeting he convened, was held on Monday, the 16th of August, 1982 at the Danish Red Cross, where the requirements and goals of a permanent committee were established with the primary objective to improve coast safety.
Members of the committee were:
Commander Ib Moller, Sailing Safety
Sector Chemnitz, Danish Red Cross
Commander Paul Schriver, SOK
Mayor, Tage Jensen, Fano Municipality, Danish Tourist
Consultant, Johs. Hagel Stone, Danish Medical Association
District Manager for North Zealand, Erik Johnson, Falck rescue corps
Superintendent, HO Petersen, Hillerød Police Association and the Ministry of Justice
Chairman, Lone Frandsen, Danish Lifesaving Society
Chairman of the group, Michael B. Aller.
Additionally, it was decided that various other organizations would be successively convened in order to evaluate practical experience relating life-saving service. These organizations could, for instance, be Lifesaving Service in North Zealand, Frederiksborg County and others.
The meetings continued every second week until March 1983 at the Danish Red Cross, where the Danish Council for Greater Water Safety was officially established with Mr Michael Aller as the Chairman.
The statute read that the Secretariat should take turns between the affiliated organizations, where the organizations themselves should be responsible for their own meetings’ expenses and travel costs.
The idea of the Council was to improve information about the fun of bathing with security and relief measures on the beaches in order to prevent the utter meaningless swimming and drowning accidents.
A brochure with ten bathing tips in Danish, German and English was immediately launched, and several organizational meetings with Representatives, members of the Danish parliament and the Danish school directors took off.
Later, when we were granted money from the Ministry of Education’s funds, the first brochures were published for the general public.
Then it was time to, in collaboration with Falck, the Red Cross, the Admiral Danish Fleet and the Danish School Sports, arrange water safety days for the Danish-speaking pupils at schools in Denmark and northern Germany.
Additionally, the Council emphasised the need – especially in the west Jutland municipalities – of more lifeguards at the Danish beaches.
Several additional organizations became members of the Council’s Representatives and Board of Directors. The National Police have taken over the police association’s membership, and several other organizations have come along since then – among others – the Pool Inspector Association, the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations, the Danish Swimming Technical Association, and the Association of Municipal Emergency Managers.