Orla Carbery is an Irish mum of 3 children, an Occupational Therapist and has lived in Dubai for 12 years.  The 21st June 2016 was a day that she will never forget when she almost lost her daughter Aoife to a “near drowning” accident.  Orla has embarked on a mission to raise awareness of water safety and drowning prevention to save lives since that day with Aoife’s Campaign. Here is her amazing story and the incredibly important steps you can take to ensure the safety of your family in the water.  Please complete the quick 5 minute survey about Water Safety by Monday 8th June to help support this mission and to win some great prizes.

“The 21st of June 2016 is a day that I will never forget, when we almost lost our middle daughter Aoife to a “near drowning” accident.  Aoife was almost 5 years old at the time. We were swimming in my friends private pool, myself, my 2 other children and the other family, when her arm got sucked into a vacuum cleaning system.  Aoife was trapped under water for more than 2 minutes. By the time we were able to get her released, Aoife was already gone.  I started CPR on my daughter by the side of the pool. Fortunately I had CPR training as I’m an Occupational Therapist. I worked on Aoife for about a minute and after, what seemed like an eternity, God gave her back to me… Aoife remained critical in ICU for 3 days, however went on to make a full recovery.  She is an utter miracle, our angel.  We are the lucky parents.  I decided from that day that Aoife was given back to us as a reason and that I had a responsibilty to educate people and raise awareness on water safety and drowning prevention within Dubai and the UAE.  In September I set up Aoife’s Campaign and I know undoubtedly by raising awareness she will indirectly save lives.”

Like many of us during lockdown, we have invested in a small pool for our kids.  Swimming has many benefits, not only is it great exercise for our little ones, it is a fun way to spend time with our family and in turn promotes better sleep and social skills, and in particular, it promotes good mental health at this difficult time for our kids and us adults too.

*It is vitally important to remember though, that where there is water, there is a risk of DROWNING*


1. Don’t assume that because your child can swim they are not at risk of drowning
2. A child can drown in as little as 2″ of water if left unsupervised
3. Highest drowning rates are children aged 1-4 and where there is increased access to water

Here are the ABCD’s – layers of protection – of Aoife’s Campaign on pool water safety.  By learning these water safety tips and discussing them with your family, you and your child , can learn to prevent drowning.


  • Never leave your child unattended in water
  • You should always be within arms reach of a young child at all times
  • Don’t get distracted …PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!
  • Assign a “Water Watcher” (an adult to supervise at all times)


  • For larger pools, you should have a 4-sided fence with self closing gates to isolate your home/play area from the pool. These can be mesh or toughened safety glass. Baby Secure DXB are happy to do a free assessment of your pool and advise appropriately
  • Ensure there are no chairs or tables, large toys etc around the pool that would allow the child to climb up on


  • CPR: Please enroll in a class to learn how to perform CPR , First Aid and Rescue Techniques . Blue Guard ME offer comprehensive CPR and First Aid Training.  Sadly accidents do happen.  Knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life and death
  • Swimming Lessons: Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim from an early age.  Swimming Wonders run structured Baby Swimming and Learn to Swim courses


  • Please teach your children to stay away from these
  • Hair, bathing suits and; as in Aoife’s case; limbs can become sucked in. Grosvenor Pools offer free safety and maintenance checks if you have a private pool.
Water is there for everyone to enjoy, so have fun, but please please respect it and stay safe. Drowning IS preventable.

Spinneys Dubai are also proudly supporting Aoife’s Campaign and there are lots of exciting things to come! Aoife’s Campaign and Spinneys will also be running a Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Week from 14th – 18th June 2020.

Completing this quick 5 minute survey on Water Safety and Drowning Prevention will provide invaluable insights to help support Aoife’s campaign – by understanding people’s knowledge about water safety, they can take the best steps to educate people to help save lives. 6 lucky mums who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win some great prizes including a 5 week Baby Swimming Course with Swimming Wonders worth AED 525 and 5 Online First Aid courses with Blue Guard ME worth AED 250 each!

Survey Prize Draw

  • 5 mums will win free access to the Blue Guard ME online First Aid Course, worth AED 250 each, where you will learn about emergency First Aid and receive an International e-certificate upon completion
  • 1 mum will win a 5 week Baby Swimming Course with Swimming Wonders worth AED 525
  • T&C’s apply. Names will be picked at random
  • Closing date Monday 8th June 2020
  • Baby Secure DXB will offer free safety surveys for Barrier Protection options for all entries
  • Grosvenor Pools will offer free maintenance and service checks for all entries