With the start of the summer vacation less than two weeks away, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) has announced that it will once again host its annual Operation S.O.S. (Save Our Selves) from July 16 on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at Browne’s Beach, St. Michael.

The programme, 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, runs for eight weeks, and will be taught by qualified lifeguards.

Those persons ten 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, the Browne’s Beach Facility in St. Michael or the Bathsheba Beach Facility in St. Joseph, to collect their application forms which will be available from Friday, June 22.

A registration fee of $10 will be charged to all persons between the ages of 13 and 60. However, the fee will be waived for those between the ages of 10 to 12 and over 60.

Special Projects Officer at the NCC, Ricardo Marshall, said 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.

"Swimming is not only a great way to keep fit, it is a life-saving skill. Learning to swim is also an important preventative measure against accidental drowning. Additionally, knowledge of the aquatic environment and how to be safe in and around it, is essential for all beach goers and citizens generally, especially in a small island of 166 square miles surrounded by water,"?? Mr. Marshall added.

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


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