Ena Greaves receiving her certificate from NCC’s Board Member?? William "Billy" Gollop.

Some 100 persons registered to participate in the National Conservation Commission’s (NCC) Operation Save Ourselves (SOS) swimming programme this summer.

And having successfully completed the seven-week programme, participants were last Saturday presented with their certificates during a ceremony held at Browne’s Beach, the venue used for the training sessions.

Operation S.O.S., which commenced on July 14 and culminated on August 27, entailed bi-weekly sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

In addressing the ceremony, Chairman of the NCC, Tyrone Lowe, reiterated the importance of swimming for personal development.

"Learning to swim is a life skill that can prove to be very useful throughout one’s life. The ability to swim is not only a great way to keep fit; it is a life saving skill which is an important preventative measure in relation to 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 those residing on an island of approximately 166 square miles," he emphasised.

Noting that the NCC’s Lifeguard Service executed the operation S.O.S. as part of its public outreach programme, Mr. Lowe expressed appreciation at the level of participation by Barbadians from all walks of life.

"The response to the 2009 programme was indeed overwhelming, with over 200 persons being accepted to participate. In addition to attracting registrants from all eleven parishes, closer?? analysis?? of?? the demographics indicated that the very young to the more mature?? (over 60) participated and successfully completed the seven week programme…a total of 101 persons between the ages of 10 and 81 years were registered to participate in this year’s programme," he revealed.

The initiative, which was designed to acquaint participants with ocean swimming and its hazards and to promote responsible behavior, ??included lectures on drowning?? prevention; the do’s and don’ts of water safety; understanding currents; understanding and interpreting flags, beach signage and wind and waves.

"The Commission wishes to urge members of the public to continue to be water smart, swim at beaches supervised by lifeguards and to adhere to the caution flags and instructions given by lifeguards on duty," Mr. Lowe stressed. cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

Erna Forde??receiving her certificate from NCC’s Board Member?? William "Billy" Gollop.

Nathan Layne??receiving his certificate from NCC’s Board Member?? William "Billy" Gollop.

Shamar Trotman??receiving his certificate from NCC’s Board Member?? William "Billy" Gollop.

Winston Moore??receiving his certificate from NCC’s Board Member?? William "Billy" Gollop.

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