DAD’S PLEDGE TO SAVE LIVES

10 years af­ter los­ing their lit­tle girl, the Plints con­tinue to spread ‘Han­nie’s mes­sage’ and pre­vent chil­dren’s drown­ings

Gatton Star - - FRONT PAGE - Me­lanie Keyte me­lanie.keyte@gat­ton­star.com.au

TEN years has not eased An­drew Plint’s pain, nor has it dented his re­solve.

The founder and di­rec­tor of drown­ing pre­ven­tion char­ity Han­nah’s Foun­da­tion last week marked the 10-year an­niver­sary of his young daugh­ter’s death.

As usual, he told his lit­tle girl he loved her, watched Han­nah’s favourite movie and re­minded him­self how many lives the foun­da­tion has saved.

“Changes to the leg­is­la­tion have meant that less kids are drown­ing and see­ing those smaller num­bers has been a re­ally big achieve­ment be­cause I know there are a num­ber of kids alive to­day be­cause of those changes, and I’m re­ally grate­ful for that,” he said.

“If I reach one per­son with Han­nah’s story and some­thing sticks with them, maybe they’ll tell some­body else and cre­ate that snow­ball ef­fect of spread­ing aware­ness.”

The Plint fam­ily estab­lished the foun­da­tion af­ter their tod­dler drowned in their back­yard pool in 2007 and have since tire­lessly cam­paigned for tougher pool bar­rier reg­u­la­tions, smarter sur­vival-fo­cused swim­ming lessons and in­creased adult su­per­vi­sion.

Mr Plint said their goal was to en­sure ac­tive and con­stant adult su­per­vi­sion of chil­dren but em­pha­sised the need for back-up mea­sures.

“The loss of Han­nah is ac­tu­ally quite easy to speak about be­cause it’s such a com­mon oc­cur­rence. You hear the story from so many par­ents,” he said.

“The su­per­vi­sion can break down, which is why hav­ing those bar­ri­ers to slow down ac­cess is im­por­tant.

“There is no cure for drown­ing, there is only pre­ven­tion.”

Though Mr Plint still strug­gles with his fam­ily’s grief, he never tires of talk­ing about his lit­tle “princess”.

“I don’t get emo­tion­ally ex­hausted talk­ing about Han­nah be­cause she’s such an im­por­tant part of my life and I love talk­ing about her – it en­er­gises me,” he said.

“The foun­da­tion and spread­ing Han­nie’s mes­sage is my pur­pose.”

PHOTO: ME­LANIE KEYTE

10 YEARS ON: An­drew Plint, at Han­nah’s memo­rial gar­den in Wal­loon, still grieves for his young daugh­ter but is de­ter­mined her death will not be in vain.

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