Beach safety basics

This is how to use your hands and feet.

Browne’s Beach is now one of the island’s most active classrooms — even during the summer holidays.

That’s because the National Conservation Commission, through its Department of Lifeguard Services, is now fully engrossed in Operation SOS, through which scores of Barbadians are getting practical lessons in water safety.

From the young to the not-so-young, in addition to quality sessions in the rudiments of swimming, are also benefiting from critical information on the do’s and don’ts of water safety; understanding currents; how to interpret flags and beach signage, and wind and wave patterns.

Deputy General Manager of the NCC, Michael Thompson, said: “This is the second largest group we have had in the three years of the Operation.” Speaking on the importance of the exercise, he added: “Even if they themselves get into difficulty, they would at least know the basics of water safety and life saving techniques.

He added that the knowledge gained from the classes would also allow participants to go to the beach more often and participate in recreational activities.

Head of the department, Dave Bascombe said one of the main aims of the programme was to empower Barbadians to save themselves in and around the aquatic environment.

Classes are conducted every Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. This, he said, was to avoid participants being exposed to the harmful rays of the sun.

“This is all part of the safety in and around the aquatic environment,” he advised.

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