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The Operation SOS Programme will be taught by qualified lifeguards. (FP)

With the start of the summer vacation just two weeks away, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) is once again hosting its annual Operation S.O.S. (Save Our Selves) from Monday, July 15.

The programme will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and from 4:00 until 5:30 p.m. at Browne’s Beach, St. Michael.

Designed to teach people about the do’s and don’ts of water safety, understanding currents and interpreting flags and beach signage, wind and wave patterns, it will run for eight weeks, and is taught by qualified lifeguards.

Those persons 10 years and older who wish to be a part of the programme are asked to visit the NCC headquarters in Codrington, St. Michael; the Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve, St. James; the Rockley Beach Park, Christ Church; and the Browne’s Beach Facility in St. Michael to collect their application forms, which are now available.

A registration fee of $10 will be charged to all persons ages 12 to 59. However, the fee will be waived for those ages 10 and 11 and 60 years and over.

Special Projects Officer at the NCC, Ricardo Marshall, explained that at the end of the programme, participants should be able to swim, save themselves, identify and understand some of the threats they may encounter in the aquatic environment.

"Learning to swim is a life skill that can come in very useful throughout one’s life. Swimming is not only a great way to keep fit; it is a life-saving skill, as learning to swim is also an important preventative measure against accidental drowning," he added.

Mr. Marshall further explained that participants were expected to leave with a greater understanding and respect for the marine environment gained by daily physical contact with the environment and through lectures and discussions on pertinent marine and aquatic topics.

Anyone requesting further information should contact Mr. Marshall, or Lifeguard Instructor, Dave Bascombe, at telephone number 425-1200.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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