open access

Vol 64, No 1 (2013)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-05-08
Accepted: 2013-05-08
Published online: 2013-05-01
Get Citation

Prevention of childhood drowning on a Greek island in the 19th century: literal testimonies by two native writers

Alexandros Koussounis, Effie Poulakou-Rebelakou, Ioannis Matsoukis, Costas Tsiamis, Eleni Petridou
International Maritime Health 2013;64(1):7-11.

open access

Vol 64, No 1 (2013)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-05-08
Accepted: 2013-05-08
Published online: 2013-05-01

Abstract

Background: To present literal texts of two native writers about drowning during childhood, along witha successful simple preventive measure implemented by the community of a small Greek island.

Materials and methods: Review of the older Greek literal production as well as of the contemporary literatureon childhood drowning and related preventive measures.

Results: Alexander Papadiamandis (1851–1911) from the island of Skiathos is a writer, who described,with intellectual language, the microcosm of his place of birth, which he always remembered with nostalgia.Alexander Moraitidis (1850–1929), his cousin, also from the same island, used a different style to describelife events in the small society. Both refer to tragic intentional and unintentional drowning events in wellsand the sea, which took place in their times or before and survived as local legends in their narrations.Both describe effective initiatives undertaken by families themselves to prevent childhood drowning byhiring, during the summer months, a guardian with a specific duty to closely supervise the children andenforce guidelines for swimming in the sea. Papadiamantis goes one step further to describe the dismalconsequences when the rules were not respected.

Conclusions: The literal testimonies of two Greek islander writers present the range of childhood drowningoccurring on the island and a primitive yet effective community initiative for accident and drowningprevention pertaining to better supervision by an ad hoc employed guardian; this sets the example of thesocial responsibility ethos on the part of local communities to safeguard children from drowning that couldserve as a good practice even in modern times.

Abstract

Background: To present literal texts of two native writers about drowning during childhood, along witha successful simple preventive measure implemented by the community of a small Greek island.

Materials and methods: Review of the older Greek literal production as well as of the contemporary literatureon childhood drowning and related preventive measures.

Results: Alexander Papadiamandis (1851–1911) from the island of Skiathos is a writer, who described,with intellectual language, the microcosm of his place of birth, which he always remembered with nostalgia.Alexander Moraitidis (1850–1929), his cousin, also from the same island, used a different style to describelife events in the small society. Both refer to tragic intentional and unintentional drowning events in wellsand the sea, which took place in their times or before and survived as local legends in their narrations.Both describe effective initiatives undertaken by families themselves to prevent childhood drowning byhiring, during the summer months, a guardian with a specific duty to closely supervise the children andenforce guidelines for swimming in the sea. Papadiamantis goes one step further to describe the dismalconsequences when the rules were not respected.

Conclusions: The literal testimonies of two Greek islander writers present the range of childhood drowningoccurring on the island and a primitive yet effective community initiative for accident and drowningprevention pertaining to better supervision by an ad hoc employed guardian; this sets the example of thesocial responsibility ethos on the part of local communities to safeguard children from drowning that couldserve as a good practice even in modern times.

Get Citation

Keywords

aquatics, childhood drowning, drowning prevention, Greek islands, Greek literature, preventive measures, supervision, swimming education

About this article
Title

Prevention of childhood drowning on a Greek island in the 19th century: literal testimonies by two native writers

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 64, No 1 (2013)

Pages

7-11

Published online

2013-05-01

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2013;64(1):7-11.

Keywords

aquatics
childhood drowning
drowning prevention
Greek islands
Greek literature
preventive measures
supervision
swimming education

Authors

Alexandros Koussounis
Effie Poulakou-Rebelakou
Ioannis Matsoukis
Costas Tsiamis
Eleni Petridou

Regulations

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., ul. Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk

tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, faks:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail:  viamedica@viamedica.pl