Prampram children engage in precarious sea surfing

Alongside a beautiful sight of canoes lined up at sea in search of a catch were some black objects moving in and out of the waves, at the Prampram Beach.

These were not objects, but some children, having a surfing expedition in the sea on Sunday morning.

The children, numbering over 20, some of whom preferred to engage in their expedition in their nakedness, defied the waves rushing to the shore with speed and thundering sound.

Some of the young surfers carried a flat wood slab obtained from canoes on their heads and rushed towards the sea, while others climbed onto canoes and dropped into the sea.

They dropped their wooden slabs into the sea, jumped, and lay face down on them, propelling themselves through the water using their arms in a swimming gesture to battle it out with the waves.

The children, some seven years old, went as far as they could and came rushing down with the breaking waves to the shore with shouts and looks of satisfaction.

After one of their successful surfing sessions, the children told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that they all knew how to swim at sea, indicating that their fathers were the ones who taught them the act.

“We are not afraid of the sea; we are swimmers; our fathers taught us how to go about it, so we can go far without fear,” they revealed.
Referring to themselves as fishers, they said most of them did attend school and preferred to be at sea as that was more rewarding than academic work as they could take after their fathers’ profession.

One of them, aged 13, said that he attends school and was in class six, but often engages in the expedition after school and on weekends as he enjoys riding on the sea waves.

They said they operated in groups and sometimes engaged in competition among themselves, adding, however, that people who did not have the technique of swimming often drowned.

Meanwhile, Nii Okine, a retired fisher, said having such children work with their fathers in canoes and at sea should not be termed child labour, as they are trained in the profession from childhood to take over the work.

He stated that even though the children are enrolled in school, some of them refused to go to school, and opted for fishing.
“When it happens like that, they are put in the canoes and trained on the rudiments of fishing.,” Nii Okine said.

Mr. Tetteh Narh, a resident of Prampram who was at the shore to watch the children surf, said the government and relevant sport bodies should consider training them to participate and to represent Ghana in surfing game competitions.

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