• Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
  • Last Update : 10:48 pm

British journalist to swim Bangla Channel to raise awareness on drowning

  • Published at 08:02 pm January 25th, 2018
British journalist to swim Bangla Channel to raise awareness on drowning
Associated Press' (AP's) Asia Producer Becky Horsbrugh is going to swim the so-called 'Bangla Channel,' from Teknaf to Saint Martin’s Island on Sunday to raise awareness about drowning in Bangladesh. She will be the first British citizen to cross the 16km-long channel. She is raising funds for the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB). "I'm doing this to raise awareness about this huge issue of drowning in Bangladesh. Around 50 children die everyday from drowning here while it is only 15 a year in the UK," she said at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) on Thursday. Becky said she came about an article one day that said drowning was the biggest cause of death for children in Bangladesh. That article stuck with her and she came to Bangladesh to help teach children how to swim. She visited Bangladesh last July to support CIRPB’s SwimSafe program. She is back this year to help raise funds for the drowning prevention program because swimming is a fundamental life-saving skill that everyone has the right to learn. [caption id="attachment_242697" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Becky Horsbrugh, Associate d Press' Asia Producer, centre, unveils her plan to swim 16-km long Bangla Channel, from Teknaf to St Martin's island, at a press conference in Dhaka Reporters Unity conference hall on Thursday; January, 25, 2018 Collected from Swim Bangla Channel[/caption] Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi to conquer Mount Everest and who also crossed the Bangla Channel in 2016, along with his team will provide technical assistance to Becky. Musa said Becky is scheduled to start the swim around 9am subjected to weather condition. He said they will keep two boats--one for guiding Becky and another for providing her help in case of any emergency--during the swim. CIPRB associate director Dr Md Jahangir Hossain said drowning is the leading cause of death in Bangladesh, claiming 18,000 lives each year. He said more than 80% of the drowning cases occur in natural water bodies (ditches, ponds and canals) less than 20 metres from the children’s house while most drowning occurs in rural areas during the day between 9am-2pm when parents are busy working. MD Wahiduzzamn, managing director of Baly Group which is supporting Becky to swim the channel, and AP's Bangladesh Bureau Chief Julhas Alam were present at the press conference.