Just yesterday, a 8.6-magnitude earthquake hit off Indonesia’s Sumatra island, sparking panic among the entire region. Almost instantly, everyone was reminded of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia’s Banda Aceh. Fear immediately settled in and people were evacuating buildings and heading to higher grounds. Some of the countries that felt the aftershock of the quake included India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and even Singapore.

In Phuket, Thailand, there were rumours that towering waves up to six metres high were barrelling towards them. This caused an evacuation from popular tourist areas such as Krabi and Phang Nga Bay. The airport was also closed for a brief period of time.

Even in Singapore, the tremors from Indonesia’s 8.6-magnitude quake also were felt in several parts of the island. They include Marine Parade, Beach Road, Bukit Panjang, Bendemeer Road, Farrer Road and Whampoa Road. Two flights to Phuket were also affected by the closure of the Phuket International Airport, due to tsunami warnings. SilkAir flight MI 756 departed Singapore at 4.45pm but had to turn back. Another SilkAir flight, MI 758, was supposed to have left at 6.35pm, but had been delayed.

Thankfully, the alerts were cancelled several hours later after the waves proved to be limited and at their highest less than a metre. This came as an ultimate relief to many in the region after flashbacks of the December 26 2004 massive 9.1-magnitude earthquake off Sumatra, which caused a tsunami, killing an estimated 220,000 people and just last year’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake, causing a tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, killing some 19,000 people.

This brings us back to the importance of picking up swimming skills. We’ll never know when such natural disasters will strike. However, we can always arm ourselves with skills that could potentially save our lives. Yes, it may seem that if such disasters were to strike, the chances of survival aren’t very high. This will definitely be the case if you have absolutely no swimming knowledge or survival skills. By obtaining such skills, it acts as a form of insurance for us. We’ll never know when a tsunami will strike and how devastating it can be, but at least we will know that if we are required to swim to safety, we will be able to do so.

At Happy Fish Swim School, we believe that there’s always a swimming class for everyone. Hence, we’ve come up with various swimming programmes for you to select from. This ranges from beginners to competitors and from private to group lessons. It is never too late to pick up swimming, we have infants as young as 6 months old enrolled in our lessons as well as senior citizens above 60 years old! As long as you have the right attitude to learn, we believe that it will only be a matter of time before you experience the joy of swimming.