Members of the public are advised that the lifeguard service at the Holetown Beach, Holetown, St. James, has been temporarily suspended until further notice.
Management of the National Conservation Commission (NCC) explained that the service was suspended due to the absence of a tower and comfortable accommodation for lifeguards.
However, as the summer vacation approaches, persons are encouraged to use the remaining 16 lifeguarded beaches which are supervised by the NCC’s Lifeguard Service.
Lifeguarded beaches are Bath Beach, St. John; Bathsheba, St. Joseph; Batt’s Rock, Brandon’s Beach, Browne’s Beach (North and South), Needham’s Point, Graves End/Pebbles, all in St. Michael; Maxwell Beach, Dover Beach, Enterprise, Rockley Beach in Christ Church; Crane Beach, St. Philip; Heywoods Beach, St. Peter; and Folkestone Beach and Royal Pavilion in St. James.
Operating hours for lifeguards are 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. until September 30, and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. from October 1 to March 31.
Persons are also being encouraged to adhere to all instructions given by lifeguards and observe the flags posted at beaches warning them of possible or imminent danger.
A yellow flag posted at a beach means that the sea conditions are risky and caution should be exercised when swimming, while a red flag indicates that there should be no swimming at all.
“Lifeguards are there for a reason. They know and can see things about the beach that most beach users don’t. Take note of where they are stationed on the beach and stay near to them when swimming,” the NCC statement said.
Parents are also reminded that children should remain within arm’s reach while in the water at all times, and everyone should protect their skin from the sun by using sunscreen, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Beachgoers are further advised that they should know the water safety codes, and be aware of water hazards, which could include rocks, strong currents, larger breakers and tides. “Look out for information, warning signs and flags and listen to the lifeguards,” NCC management advised.
They also urged sea bathers not to go swimming alone, and, more importantly, learn how to help another person by obtaining the necessary safety skills.
The NCC management has also stressed that increased awareness of the beach and aquatic environment translated into less cases of drowning or incidents of individuals finding themselves in dangerous situations.