Within two weeks, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) will have 11 new lifeguards stationed at some of their beaches.
This disclosure has come from General Manager of the NCC, Keith Neblett, who said the lifeguards had recently completed three months of training and should begin work during the first week in November.
Mr. Neblett added that with the tourist season just around the corner, the additional lifeguards would be a welcome boost to the industry.
Meanwhile, with school children on mid-term break this week, the General Manager said that all their major beaches would be fully supervised, but he warned the children to obey the instructions of the lifeguards. “Once again we want to encourage parents to be a lot more responsible in terms of knowing where their children are going. If their offspring are going to the beaches, parents should encourage them to make some contact with the lifeguards on site and take their advice. We don’t want them to go into the water and play pranks, putting their hands in the air and pretending they are drowning,” he added.
He noted that with the strange weather the island had experienced over the past few weeks, the seas were sometimes becoming rough with very little warning. He urged beach users, therefore, to look out for the yellow and red flags which serve as warnings.
Mr. Neblett pointed out that, occasionally, people under the influence of alcohol cursed the lifeguards while on the beach and even attempted to enter the waters. “In other parts of the world, lifeguards have arresting powers, but we don’t have any here so we have to encourage the public not to do these things… I’m not sure that we necessarily want that (arresting powers), but if we reach that point then it is something we would have to look at,” he said.
The General Manager praised the lifeguards, stressing that they did a “commendable job” daily.