In a remarkable display of community engagement and safety advocacy, Absafe, a renowned non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting safety and well-being, has partnered with students from St. Machar Academy (an Excelerate school - The Wood Foundation) to design and install five impactful water safety signs at Port of Aberdeen. These signs not only convey vital water safety messages but also feature QR codes that provide access to comprehensive safety advice and Absafe's innovative "H2o Heroes" water safety app.

Water safety is a paramount concern in maritime locations like Port of Aberdeen, and the collaboration between Absafe and St. Machar Academy students underscores the commitment to safeguarding individuals in and around the water.

The five newly unveiled signs prominently display essential water safety messages under the acronym "SAFE." Each letter represents a critical aspect of water safety:

  • Spot the dangers – be aware of currents, tides and hidden hazards that might be lurking in the water.
  • Advice – take advice from water safety messaging, ask adults and lifeguards for advice
  • Friend – Always go swimming with friends or family, never alone.
  • Emergency – know what to do in an emergency, call 999, shout for help, NEVER enter the water to help!

What sets these signs apart is their integration of technology through QR codes. By simply scanning these codes with a smartphone, port users can access an array of in-depth water safety resources. These resources include informative articles, educational videos, and interactive content, all designed to educate individuals about staying safe in aquatic environments.

Moreover, the QR codes provide direct access to Absafe's groundbreaking "H2o Heroes" water safety app. This app offers a wealth of water safety information, tips, and engaging activities suitable for users of all ages.

One particularly noteworthy aspect of this initiative is the involvement of students from St. Machar Academy. Their creative input and design contributions have been invaluable in making the signs more visually appealing and relatable, especially for younger individuals. Absafe has actively sought feedback from these students, ensuring that the signage effectively communicates the importance of water safety.

David Scott, a teacher from St Machar Academy said: “The collaboration with Absafe gave pupils the opportunity to look at the stakeholders who visit the Port of Aberdeen, and consider their health and safety. It also gave pupils the opportunity to give feedback on the various sign designs and the message that they aim to deliver which helped them to develop their communication, teamwork and creative thinking skills.”

Isla Gibb, Lead Business and Community Support Officer for St Machar Academy said: “As an Excelerate school, we always welcome opportunities to engage with external partners. Working with Absafe provided a wonderful way for pupils to apply their learning to a real-world context.”

Louise, CEO of Absafe, expressed her appreciation for the collaboration, saying: "The partnership with St. Machar Academy students exemplifies our commitment to engaging and educating our community, particularly our younger members, about the crucial topic of water safety. Their involvement has been instrumental in creating signage that resonates with a broader audience. Thank you to all involved"

Jordan Harkins, Head of Communications at Port of Aberdeen states: “We [Port of Aberdeen] were delighted to fund for the Absafe water signage project. Engaging with the community on water safety is hugely important to us. The St Machar Academy pupils developed amazing signage designs and the bright, eye-catching winner will help to keep people safe in the waters around the port.”

The joint effort between Absafe, St. Machar Academy students, and Port of Aberdeen illustrates the power of community collaboration in promoting safety. By integrating innovative technology and creative design, these signs not only serve as visual reminders but also provide a direct gateway to comprehensive water safety resources.

Absafe's dedication to safety extends to all members of the community, and through initiatives like these, the organisation continues to fulfil its mission of promoting safety and saving lives, ensuring that water safety remains a top priority for people of all ages.

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