A lifeguard points out the danger signs beachgoers should loook out??for during a recent
simulation at Enterprise (Miami) Beach.

A call has been made for the Ministry of Education to implement a swimming programme throughout this island’s school system.

It has come from General Manager of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Keith Neblett, who has lamented the fact that approximately only 40 to 50 percent of Barbadians can swim.

Noting that while swimming programmes were currently in place at some schools, Mr. Neblett said the initiative needed to be system-wide to enable swimming to become part of the school curriculum.

In terms of adults, the NCC head said his department was seeking to facilitate a volunteer programme to teach Barbadians how to swim, and by extension, to show persons who could swim the basics for performing beach rescues.

"We have to go beyond just having lifeguards being able to effect a rescue. I think for average Barbadians who like the sea this would be useful and, in the instance that something occurs, they would be less fearful and more likely to assist in saving??someone’s life. We have to be our brother’s keeper," he surmised.

Mr. Neblett, who was speaking following the staging of a Lifeguard Marine/Terrestrial Rescue Simulation to mark World Oceans Day, said he had already started discussions regarding the possibility of staging a six-week programme to produce a cadre of trained volunteers across the island.

Meanwhile, as the summer approaches, Mr. Neblett has urged parents to be more vigilant and responsible with regard to monitoring children on our beaches. He also implored??adults??to instill in their children the need to heed the directives of lifeguards on duty; to??only use??beaches where lifeguard towers??are erected and to always??inquire from lifeguards??the safest areas?? for swimming.


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