Rockley Beach will be abuzz with activity on World Oceans Day, next Tuesday, June 8, when lifeguards from the National Conservation Commission (NCC) host a friendly Lifesaving Sport competition beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The scaled-down version of the international event, will see lifeguards facing off in a number of sporting disciplines which showcase their fitness and technical expertise.

According to Lifeguard Instructor Dave Bascombe, Lifesaving Sport is internationally recognised and features races and events that incorporate lifesaving skills.?? He explained that lifeguards would be divided into two three-member teams – Team Alpha and Team Bravo – for the two-tiered competition.

In the area of fitness, lifeguards will compete in two events. The first will be a Taplin Team Relay involving run, swim and rescue board legs. The second will see lifeguards from both teams competing simultaneously in a timed run-swim-run event.

The second aspect of the tournament will highlight competitors’ technical competencies and will focus on speed and accuracy. The first event will be a Beach Rescue Drill involving two lifeguards and one patient or casualty. This will be followed by a Simulated Emergency Response Situation, involving multi-casualty incidents. It will highlight participants’ cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid skills, and competitors will be judged on efficiency and speed, in accordance with international guidelines.

Noting that this would be the first year for a demonstration of this type, Mr. Bascombe said that having traditionally staged rescue simulations over the years, they wanted to offer Barbadians a bit more variety and excitement.

"We are looking forward to the event, which will feature some aspects of the international competition. It will be shorter, however, since those competitions usually go on for days," the NCC official explained.

With select lifeguards having been training assiduously for the exercise, Mr. Bascombe gave the assurance that, in keeping with the department’s mandate, lifeguards would be on duty at the other beaches on the morning of the exercise.

Meanwhile, in preparation for the summer, the Lifeguard Instructor pointed out they had also been undertaking in-service training in various disciplines including search and rescue; beach supervision and overall fitness, to refresh their skills.?? In this regard, he appealed to beach users to obey the instructions and respect the authority of lifeguards while utilising the beaches.

Lifesaving Sport is the most demanding, multi-disciplinary sport in the world; combining athletic ability with lifesaving skills and rescue equipment. It is unique because it is the only sport in which skills are learned for humanitarian purposes and then later used in competition. Events can be divided into three types of competitions surf or open water; pool and emergency response.

The Lifesaving World Championships – Rescue 2010 is slated to take place in Alexandria, Egypt from October 2 – 17.??cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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