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Saving strokes

marciadottin, [email protected]

Saving strokes

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BOTH YOUNG AND old turned up at Browne’s Beach yesterday morning for the start of the 2010 Operation SOS: Save Our Selves programme.The programme, now in its second year, is a learn-to-swim for people ten years of age and older, and includes lectures on how to prevent drowning; water safety; understanding currents; and understanding and interpreting flags, beach signage, wind and waves.It runs until August 27 every Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Browne’s Beach. This year, about 100 people have already registered.General manager of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Keith Neblett, said: “On completion, participants should be able to swim, as well as identify and understand some of the threats that may be encountered in the aquatic environment.“Participants are expected to leave with a greater understanding and respect for the marine environment, gained through contact with it and lectures and discussions on pertinent marine and aquatic topics.”The Barbados Fire Service was also on board with the programme, which represented a joint operation as the Fire Service already had a previous swimming programme in place with the Coast Guard at Folkestone.Neblett also spoke on the upcoming lifeguard training programme to take place during the “second half of August”.He said the training was to enhance current lifeguard skills in order for them to achieve the status of national lifesaving instructor and national lifeguard instructor. This training will be provided by Canadian instructors Patrick D’Almada and Shauna Reid.“We will also be taking the opportunity to host a meeting with the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, the Barbados Olympic Association and other relevant organisations to discuss the establishment of an independent volunteer organisation in Barbados which could partner with the NCC in building capacity to deliver swim, life-saving and public education programmes,” he said. (CA)