Saturday 4 April, 2020

Lifeguard Head warns picnickers: 'we do not want another drowning'

The sea along the East Coast is "treacherous" and not safe for swimming.

Issuing a word of caution, following last year's drowning on National Heroes Day is the Head of Department, Barbados Lifeguard Service, Dave Bascombe. In 2017, 69-year-old Edwin Atherley of Lodge Road, Christ Church, drowned in the sea off the Ermy Bourne Highway, as the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) staged its tenth annual National Heroes Day picnic.

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Afterwards, the BLP said in a statement, “The sudden loss of any life is tragic and is something one can never be prepared for. Because of this, when such incidents occur it deeply affects those left behind. This is why as a party we grieve with those who were close to Mr. Atherley.”

Bascombe took this opportunity ahead of tomorrow's festivities to ask persons to "be very cautious". He said there is a sign along the Ermy Bourne Highway in St. Andrew which warns about the strong currents and people need to stop ignoring it. "People overestimate their ability and underestimate the danger."

According to the International Life Saving Federation, "The best scientific evidence available has taught us that 1.2 million people around the world die by drowning every year, that is more than two persons per minute." Bascombe said, "we don't want to be part of that statistic."

The Lifeguard Head said that the East Coast is nice and picturesque but it is an unsafe area even for a good swimmer due to the onshore prevailing winds, waves and undercurrents in the Atlantic Ocean. "It is not safe for swimming!" 

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