Sea bathers are being warned against raising false alarms while at the beach, and they are also being reminded to adhere to instructions given by lifeguards on duty at all times.
General Manager of the National Conservation Commission, Keith Neblett, issued this appeal this morning at the start of the Operation S.O.S. (Save Our Selves) programme at Brownes Beach.
Neblett expressed concern that some people were pretending to be in distress while in the water, thus causing a response from the lifeguards.
“People may see this as fun, but I hope they will discontinue this practice because it is creating a problem,” he said, noting that lifeguards could not ignore any signal for help.
He added that when people ignored the instructions of lifeguards and went into the water when the yellow and red flags were raised, and were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they were placing the lifeguards at risk to save them.
To address these challenges, the general manager said the NCC may have to adopt the approach of Trinidad and consider giving power of arrest to lifeguards when people do things they should not be doing at the beaches.
“We would look at the legislation to see if it could be implemented here, and what we would need to do to make it happen,” he stressed.