The National Conservation Commission (NCC) will be expanding its national swimming programme this year.

This assurance has come from NCC Chairman, Tyrone Lowe, who said?? their?? ongoing?? swimming programme, which was extended last summer under the theme ???Operation S.O.S.’ (Save Ourselves), primarily to teach children to swim, will be expanded even further this summer.

Mr. Lowe, who was addressing a press briefing to launch the NCC’s 40th anniversary celebrations, disclosed: "We want to extend that swimming programme, regrettably for a fee. We hope that does not offend anyone. But,?? if there are many persons?? at the beach between 6:00 and?? 7:00 a.m. in the mornings; and if there are more between?? 5:30 p.m. and?? beyond in the evenings… we are going to be offering?? members of the public a chance to be a part of the national swimming exercise so that everyone can?? learn to swim."

The NCC Chairman noted that these times were selected since those were the periods when the Commission’s lifeguards, who would be conducting the lessons, were off-duty.

In reflecting on last year’s success, he said: "I am happy to say that one of our school’s head teachers who would normally travel overseas stayed home and wondered what she would do for the holidays. She took the course and was so pleased that something was done locally to make her time worthwhile, and now she is a competent swimmer. That kind of thing is what we want to do as we go forward, and we are going to repeat it this year."

Meanwhile, Acting General Manager of the NCC, Michael Thompson, indicated that over 200 persons had benefitted from Operation S.O.S., which was held at Browne’s Beach and Folkestone, with the Commission being forced to turn away many others.?? He intimated that this year’s programme might be extended to at least one other beach.

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