Segments in this Video

The Maldives (03:52)


On a 600 mile-long archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 325,000 people live less than four feet above sea level. Fatimah Isha Afeef decides to teach a swim camp to overcome her fears. (Credits)

First Swimming Lesson (06:26)

Ameeliya Moosa explains why the children do not know how to swim; Afeef finds it ironic she is teaching even though she cannot swim. Nate Tschohl describes his expectations for the class. The students put their faces in the water.

Day Two of Swimming Lessons (06:02)

Goals for the women's only class include blowing bubbles, bobbing, and floating. Tschohl is pleased with his students' progress.

Climate Change (04:02)

The film crew takes a floatplane to Malé in order to meet with government officials about the risks to the Indian Ocean. Coastal erosion has increased over the last 30 years and the islands are shrinking. Fishermen rely on hand line fishing.

Becoming an Activist (03:00)

Mohamed Nasheed, the former president, now educates others on the impact of climate change. The populations from 16 islands desert their land to go to big cities with healthcare and schools. Moosa describes how Eydafushi used to have a population of only 500 but now is up to 3000.

Family Time (04:04)

A young boy shows off his two birds. A woman describes how she feels more comfortable at the swimming lessons now that she understands how to move in the water. A father takes two children to fly a kite on the beach.

Next Lesson (04:57)

The sea is a bit rougher due to the rain. Tschohl reviews floating and blowing bubbles. The school organizes a beach cleanup on Eydafushi.

Women Perform the Crawl (04:00)

The teachers dress in traditional Maldivian outfits to understand swimming with so much fabric. Tschohl hopes his students will learn freestyle and backstroke. Kilgore realizes that the goggles leak with the headdress.

Children's Group (02:42)

Children practice swimming and jump off a pier into deeper water. Men wash their hands and feet at the Mosque.

Ending of the Swimming Program (04:23)

The women hold a dinner party to thank the instructors and Afeef. At the final lesson, the children prepare to go snorkeling.

Snorkeling (05:46)

The children snorkel with the instructors. In two weeks, 48 children and 18 mothers learn to swim. The Maldives will be unlivable by 2100 if the sea rises as projected.

Credits: Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives (02:41)

Credits: Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives

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Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



More than 350,000 people live four feet above sea level in the island republic of Maldives, yet most have never learned to swim. National Geographic “ocean hero” Jon Bowermaster organized a learn-to-swim camp there to teach 50 3rd-graders and 20 of their burka-clad mothers how to swim. In a place more threatened by global climate change and rising sea levels than almost anywhere on the planet, it is important that its residents understand what is at risk. Diving into the ocean is a big first step.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: FMK162908

ISBN: 978-1-64481-346-1

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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