Dive in the good news! Professional lifeguards are here

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Bellevision Media Network

MANGALORE, 06 August 2010: A lifeguard’s job in Panambur Beach will have a more professional touch to it. Joining hands with the project authorities are Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India) and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA). The RLSS will impart professional life-saving skills to lifeguards, who are employed by the project authorities, based on module given by SLSA.



Yathish Baikampady, CEO of the project and Rear Admiral Purushottam Dutt Sharma, founder-president of RLSS (I) signed an MoU to this effect in the presence of Norm Farmer, general manager (strategic development), SLSA on Wednesday. "Lifeguards employed in Panambur Beach are local fishermen, who have life-saving skills. The MoU is to give their skills a professional orientation," Yathish explained.



Sharma said an average of 3.5 lakh people succumb to accidents across India each year and one-third of them is due to drowning. "A majority of these incidents that are preventable take place along the coastline of the country," he said. SLSA entered into a strategic agreement with RLSS (I) to professionally train lifeguards with the sole objective of making beach trips fun for individuals as well as families.



The RLSS (I) will make use of training modules developed by SLSA and it ranges from basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to advanced life saving techniques using various equipment. "The training can vary from anywhere to six hours at the basic levels to 50-60 hours at the advanced level," Sharma explained. Trainees will have to renew their certification with the RLSS (I) each year, Sharma added.



A total of 115 deaths due to drowning were reported at Panambur Beach before the present management took over in 2008. Introduction of lifeguards reduced the number of deaths to four in 2008. There were absolutely no drowning incidents in 2009, he said, adding the project hopes to maintain clean slate on this front henceforth.



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