Use beaches where there is a lifeguard on duty. (FILE)
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As the start of the 2019 summer vacation draws near, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) is urging parents not to allow their children to go to beaches unsupervised.
General Manager Keith Neblett said: "We find many Barbadians go to a lot of beaches that don’t have lifeguard stations because of tradition and because they know the area. However, we caution beach users that if they do not know the location, because they see persons going there, they should not follow them. Those persons know these areas and they know the pros and cons of them.”
This was echoed by NCC’s Special Projects Officer, Ricardo Marshall, and lifeguards who are urging the public, especially parents and children, to be careful when going into the water this summer.
Stating that the NCC had recently installed an 8” x 4” sign at Pierhead Beach, where two young persons had drowned, Marshall implored persons to go to one of the 15 lifeguard-supervised beaches around the island.
Those 15 beaches are: Bath, St John; Bathsheba, St Joseph; Batt’s Rock, Brandons Beach, Browne’s Beach (N) and Browne’s Beach (S), Needham’s Point and Graves End, also known as Pebbles Beach, in St Michael; Maxwell, Dover Beach, Enterprise and Rockley Beach in Christ Church; Crane Beach, St Philip; and Folkestone and Royal Pavilion in St James.
The public is advised that there is presently no lifeguard supervision at Heywoods, St Peter, and Holetown, St James.
Marshall offered the following tips:
*Be careful when you go to the beach even if you can swim.
*Always obey the instructions of the lifeguards on duty.
*Parents taking children to the beach should always have them within arm’s reach, particularly toddlers and those under the age of 13.
*Pay attention to the yellow (which warns against swimming in treacherous waters) and red (no swimming) flags.
He also urged persons to secure their personal belongings; use sunscreen; not to drink alcohol and swim; and to desist from swimming near pipes, rocks, break waters or piers, or diving off jetties. He stressed that this could result in serious injury or even death, if done incorrectly.
The NCC presently has 67 lifeguards and three solar public address systems at Browne’s Beach South, Brandons Beach and Rockley Beach. (BGIS)