Offbeat

BY JACK WILLIAMS


With Halloween well and truly over, this amusing campaign uses the Grim Reaper’s hilarious – and somewhat dark – holiday snaps as a warning individuals about the risk of drowning.

Known as the “SWIM REAPER”, the character can be seen carrying a surfboard, playing volleyball, and even acting as a rather daunting lifeguard.

Pic by Water Safety New Zealand / Caters 

The campaign was set up by Water Safety New Zealand, based in Wellington, as a way to target at-risk young men, aged 15 to 30.

Despite only making up 14 percent of the population, young men account for around a third of all fatal incidents annually in New Zealand, Jonty Mills, CEO of Water Safety New Zealand, said.

Pic by Water Safety New Zealand / Caters –

The ongoing series, however, has received an incredibly positive response from across the globe, with views on the Swim Reaper’s social media channels flying up into the million since last December.

Using a slight element of dark humor – the tagline for social channels is “Swim dumb and you’re done”  — the campaign hopes to engage more young men in its message than traditional methods.

Jonty said: “A lot of these drownings [of young men] are what we would describe as preventable fatalities.

Pic by Water Safety New Zealand / Caters

“Lives would be saved if young males simply made smarter decisions around water.

“However, this audience can react badly to being told what to do – it is a struggle to get positive safety messages through to them.

“Through the Swim Reaper’s dark humour, he illustrates the deadly consequences of making bad decisions around water.

Pic by Water Safety New Zealand / Caters 

The Swim Reaper can be followed here: https://www.instagram.com/iamtheswimreaper/