Why We Need Lifeguards In Galera

PUERTO GALERA — Do you think public beaches along our town should have lifeguards?

In Puerto Galera, saving lives needs to become a community effort following a rash of drownings at White Beach and Bulabud in 2017. One of the teens, drowned after being caught in a rip current in 2016, another one nearly drowned after a accident caused by an Jetski.

In Bulabud, a 5 year old girl drowned last long holy-week end. One elderly man drowned the same weekend after suffering a heart attack while swimming.

Following those peoples death, the Administration need to be pushed to make Puerto Galera’s beaches, safer for its residents and visitors.

Each summer, and each long weekend, the White Beach swells with visitors, local and foreign. How many more bodies do we need to see before someone is doing somethings about it? Why are there no signs, warning about dangerous rip currents? Why are there no towers with lifeguard’s watching over swimmers, snorkelers and water-sport enthusiasts?

When asked if lifeguards would help prevent drownings at our beaches, one can only reply: An evolution of our beaches that we’ve seen over the last 10 years is something of a denial that rip currents even exist around here. … Tradition is not wisdom. There is a tradition in our town of not providing lifeguards, but that doesn’t mean it’s the smart thing to do.

What Does a Lifeguard Do?

A lifeguard, whether it’s on the ocean, inland, or at a swimming pool, is the person in charge of the safety of everyone near or nearby. This can mean a lot of things: save drowning victims, provide first aid, protect the environment, enforce all laws, or just provide directions.

To accomplish this, lifeguards need to have a lot of skills at their disposal. They, of course, need to be very accomplished swimmers. This means being physically fit, regularly exercise, and comfortable in the water. They often need to face difficult swimming environments such as the ocean, which has cold temperatures, strong currents, waves, and animal life.

They also need a lot of education in medical and practical matters. As they are often the first responders, they need a good amount of EMS training. This can mean the very well known CPR, but it also means other skills such as tending to a wound or burn. Whatever the emergency, a dashing lifeguard will often be the first one to face it. For other emergencies such as a fire or a disabled boat, they have to know how to address and respond to the situation. Assistance in these areas not only saves lives, but also protects the environment. This can also mean specialized knowledge depending upon the area where they work, such as areas of high surfing activity versus boating activity.

Once they have all of these internal skills, they need equipment to help them best serve the public. The most basic and one of the most useful pieces of equipment is a watchtower. This can be a large structure with large binoculars or it can be as a simple as a very tall chair. Whatever the form, a watchtower is there to help survey the waters and quickly observe any accidents.

Once an accident does occur they need specialized equipment to help them take action. For small pools, this is often a large buoy to help drowning victims stay afloat and stay calm. These are great pieces of equipment since they are easy to carry, light, and save lives. Boats for the ocean, may be a part of the equipment necessary to keep lives safe. Depending upon their area, there may also be specialized equipment for boaters or surfers. Regardless of the form, there will always be some equipment available as a rescue attempt will only be performed as a last resort with no equipment.

Finally, to maintain the shore of the ocean, a lifeguard will use an assortment of flags and other communication equipment to keep swimmers and boaters aware of potential dangers.

I think it is time, that we make sure our peeps and visitors are safe, while enjoying the beauty of Galera. Our town need to focus more on safety for our own sake.