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Fiji Surf Plans Lifeguard Course

Fiji Surf Plans Lifeguard Course
A lifeguard on basic life saving skills during the week-long training programme at Nacovi Beach in Nadi on Tuesday.
May 08
07:54 2015

Following a positive response from the 23 participants of the week-long life guard training programme, the Fiji Surf Company is looking to start a lifeguarding course.

The training began on Tuesday at the Nacovi Beach, Nadi, and is an initiative of the Fiji Surfing Company, Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA), Fijian Water safety patrol and Red Bull energy drink.

Fiji Surf Co photographer and lifeguard Stewart Johnson said there was a need to address water safety on a deeper level.

“Most of our participants are locals and we are looking at doing a course in FNU specifically for lifeguarding skills so that people get the opportunity to train at a professional level,” he said.

Currently, Tavarua Island and Namotu Island resorts have their own lifeguards.

“This training has the same physical demand as in Australia and the instructors are not taking it easy on anyone. It has the same standard,” he said.

Participants were briefed on basic life saving skills, cardio pulmonary resuscitation, use of the de-fib machines, rescue board techniques, use of medical equipment and Jet Ski water rescue techniques.

Former APOLA lifeguard and owner of Fiji Surf Co, Ian Muller, said the initial decision to hold the training was done three months ago.

“We talked with APOLA and came to a decision to take it up to the other stakeholders and the community because water safety is a reality to us,” he said. “We are targeting the local and tourism level as lifeguarding will change their approach to water safety because we are an island nation and are surrounded by water.

“We can’t blame others later because the onus is on us.”

Participants included hotel workers and those associated with the tourism industry.

“The response has been great and they have requested that we do this kind of training regularly for more people to take part and learn the importance of life-saving skills,” Mr Muller said.

“It is important that all organisations take the issue of water safety seriously and not just tourism organisations.

“It’s important knowledge because somebody could drown and you can’t turn a blind eye. We want to open it up to stakeholders and also make it a occupational health and safety  requirement  to have qualified lifeguards because it will be an asset to any organisation.”




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