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Lifeguards patrol LaS Cuevas Beach

The Ministry of National Security said it continues to work with the Lifeguard Services Division in order to provide them with the requisite capacity and capability, to keep the country’s beaches safe for beachgoers and sea bathers alike.

In a statement yesterday the ministry said over the past several months meetings have been held between senior management of the Ministry of National Security and the Lifeguard Services Division, aimed at bringing about reasonable and cost-effective resolutions to matters affecting the nation’s lifeguards.

The ministry said to date it has:

•Begun the procurement process to repair the lifeguard facilities buildings and towers at Mayaro, Toco, Salybia and Quinam, which fall under the purview of the Ministry of National Security.

•Pursued collaborative discussions in relation to repairs at the lifeguard facilities inclusive of towers at Vessigny, Maracas, Las Cuevas and Manzanilla, which fall under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.

•Procured three jet skis for use at the beaches in Mayaro, Maracas and Las Cuevas. Arrangements are being made for this specialised equipment to be handed over to the Lifeguards Services Division.

•Worked with the Lifeguard Services Division to launch a series of six videos on beach and water safety. These videos are being used to educate members of the public on how to avoid water hazards.

•Co-ordinated training for all lifeguard units in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED), in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which includes modification to the Expired Air Resuscitation (EAR) assessment and the use of bag valve masks (BVMs). This training was conducted by the Water Safety Education section of the Lifeguard Services Corporate Communications Unit, General Administration Division. Additional COVID-19 protocol training is being sought in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

•Supplied lifeguards with personal protective equipment (PPE) including BVMs, medical gowns, medical face shields, life jackets, cloth masks, hand sanitizer, bleach, disinfectant sprays and gloves to promote covid-safe operations.

•Completed repairs on five vehicles, inclusive of an ambulance, and these are awaiting final inspection. Two additional vehicles are, at present, undergoing repairs with the assistance of the Ministry of Works and Transport.

•Proposed rostering and assignment of lifeguards to ensure adequate coverage at all key beach facilities, especially on the weekends and public holidays.

•Enhanced the administrative support for the Lifeguard Unit and established a new regime of visits by ministry personnel for each beach site. This is to ensure that lifeguard operations are better monitored and service levels are improved.

The ministry said there are lifeguards on duty at ten of the nation’s beaches as follows: Maracas Bay, Tyrico Bay, Las Cuevas, Salybia, Toco, Mayaro, Manzanilla, Los Iros, Vessigny and Quinam.

The ministry said it continues to advise members of the general public, who venture to the beaches to exercise caution at all times, especially at beaches where there is no presence of trained and certified Lifeguards on duty.

The ministry is also asking beachgoers to cooperate with the team of certified lifeguard personnel to make their visit a safe one.

The systems that are in place to ensure beach and water safety cannot be implemented by the lifeguards alone, the ministry said,

The ministry said it remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens and visitors at the nation’s beaches.