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Teacher fined over 2019 deaths of Japanese teens in Australia

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For an island nation, Japanese at large, I've found, are quite poor swimmers. Tragic about the two teens, but if you bring a large group of teenagers to a lake, what can you expect?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This is a sandy bottom lake in the middle of the island. There are no rips or currents or obstacles in the lake. It’s about 4m deep at its deepest point. It is a very popular swimming spot for families. It is famous for its population of tortoises. It’s difficult to understand how these teens got into trouble in the calm waters. I can understand why the teacher has been fined for breech of duty of care. Most Japanese kids are not strong swimmers and they should be strictly supervised when in the water.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

blaming a single teacher for the failure of the nation to teach swimming, a basic survival skill, particularly in an island nation, to its youth, is just wrong.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Where does it say that the kids couldn't swim or weren't strong swimmers?

Elementary through junior high school students in Tokyo and probably the rest of Japan have swimming class during summer months at school. I never had that in the US and probably wouldn't know how to swim if my parents hadn't enrolled me in a private swimming classes.

How horrible to lose kids you are responsible for. I can't imagine.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This was a good deal for the teacher. He could be sued in Australia and be found liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The tour company should be required to hire certified lifeguards for all future lake/water visits.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This case is why when asked to travel overseas with my university students I politely refuse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From the Official Magistrates Court of Queensland findings document delivered February 8 2023 re the Huckleberry tour company case.

*"......Lake McKenzie 23. Lake McKenzie is a freshwater lake near the middle of K’gari (Fraser Is). Its surface area is approximately 150 hectares and it is approximately 8 to 9 metres deep. The initial gradient of the lakebed is slight from the shoreline out to about 10 metres, before it drops away at an angle of approximately 30 to 35 degrees. The lake was not fenced and was accessible to members of the public. *

*It was not patrolled. There were a number of visible signs in the area, including one sign with the following warning*: "Safety around water. People have suffered serious injuries in water related accidents. The lake is not patrolled by lifeguards. Swimming is not recommended. Avoid tragedy — do not dive into the lake; always stay with children when near the water...."

The boys were swimming and playing way out of their depth. Simply this should not have been allowed. Many people failed to exercise strict management of a potentially dangerous situation. The tour company, the Bus driver/guide, the interpreter, the teachers all should have prohibited swimming.

The whole document gives clear insight and background to the tragedy.

Guilfoyle v Huckleberry Australia Pty Ltd [2023] QMC 1 (sclqld.org.au)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don’t know the facts of comments on japanese being not strong swimmers. My son goes to Japanese elementary school and he learned swimming at school. He can swim 100m in the pool. Although i was impressed with his swimming, he said he is a bit less than average in his class. They have to swim in different styles to get good points.

it must be some unfortunate circumstances, perhaps they weren’t in their best days, or too tired from traveling long distance to go to Australia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

John - good points.

But swimming in a 25m shallow school pool does not generally equip kids with water safety awareness.

Sadly the kids who died obviously could swim - one wanted to swim across the lake - but swallow a mouthful of water in playing antics, will soon seen one gulping for air leading to sudden panic, grappling with your partner and losing rational decision making quickly.

I've witnessed it as a teacher/swimming supervisor in Australia years ago. I was lucky as other students quickly alerted to me the failed-to-follow-instructions-boy was going down in a flurry of arms.

First rule of water safety esp for kids in groups is "You can die". Then work back from that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Given Mr. Minatoya's guilty plea, it suggests an acknowledgment of some level of responsibility for the incident. The court considered various factors, including Mr. Minatoya's prior record, remorse, and efforts to rectify the situation, in determining an appropriate punishment, which ranged from fines to other penalties as per the relevant work health and safety laws in Queensland. To that end, $36,000 (an $18,000 a share) to the grieving parents for their lost is insanely unreasonable and downright unforgiven. Parents seeing their spring rise to 16 years of age and suddenly stripped from life is never restoring - regardless.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Zibala...are you familiar with Australian Civil Negligence or Tort Law ?

Didnt think so.

Hard to bring a case in Tort and get damages where the ""victims " were not employed and providing money to a spouse.

Hard to initiate a case that doesnt have precedent as well.

Hard to bring a case that another Court has dealt with as well''

You're welcome.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Arama above...it's a FINE imposed by the Court...it goes to the state.

Nothing in the story suggests any compensation ordered to the parents.

This would be heard in the District Court, not a Magistrates Court, in any event.

Your welcome.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NONE of the elementary and JHSs in Japan have pools deeper than 1.5 meters.

THIS is the major culprit for so many weak and easily panicked swimmers on this island nation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I learned in a pool with a deep end, but no one taught me about unseen drop-offs under water. I had to learn about it in the news. I never was attracted to swimming in the wild, tho. I doubt a strong swimmer could recover from suddenly losing footing and sucking in a bunch of water. This is probably a good reminder for me to talk about it with my kids who are the age of those who lost their lives.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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