Osondu, who works in the Navy Headquarters, made the assertion at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Osondu, who works in the Navy Headquarters, made the assertion while reflecting on the just-concluded 11th Nigerian Navy Games at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Monday.
He represented the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ibas, at the competition which held from Feb. 6 to Feb. 9.
Osondu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that that the force operated mainly on waters hence, it was imperative for naval ratings to be able to swim not just for sporting activities alone.
“We have made it mandatory in the Navy that everybody must know how to swim. It is now a condition to move from one rank to another. You must know how to swim."
“That is to stress the importance attached to swimming and other water games. Our life depends on water."
“Navy is about water, if we’re not water, what else would we be doing? When it comes to the issue of water sports, we don’t take it lightly."
“All the activities of the Navy revolve around water,’’ he said.
Osondu said that ability to swim not only develops physical fitness but also helps the Navy in times of emergencies.
“When we get to know how to swim, it is not all about sports, but building mental and physical alertness for emergencies."
“When an officer falls overboard, he should know how to swim and stay afloat. So, it is a necessary requirement."
“It is mandatory in the Navy that everybody must know how to swim,’’ he said.
Osondu said that the force was ready for the yet-to-be-decided date for the Armed Forces Games, adding that the force would concentrate on its areas of strength.
“We have done our part in having our Nigerian Navy Games and we have no power over the Games for all the armed forces in Nigeria." he said.
NAN reports that the water events featured in the Games are kayak, sailing, swimming and boat handling which was introduced for the first time in the competition.
The main Navy Games will hold from Feb. 26 to March 11 in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.