Chief Fire Officer of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service, Mr. Zebalon McLean is urging the public to remain vigilant when engaging in activities on, in and around the Territory’s waters as the VI observes “World Drowning Prevention Day.”
Chief McLean said, “It is important to note that drowning can happen quickly and silently. Our Territory’s lifeguards are often faced with the tremendous responsibility of patrolling the Virgin Islands beaches, all the while monitoring crowds of residents and visitors. I join with the Territory’s lifeguards in the observance of World Drowning Prevention Day.”
The Chief said the theme for this year’s observance is, “Anyone can drown, no one should” and that an estimated 236,000 people drown every year, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide.
Chief McLean is urging the public to adhere to the following tips when using the Territory’s waters:
- Do not overestimate your swimming ability and the ability of others;
- Respect the power and inconsistency of water movements;
- Monitor young adults and children;
- Do not be distracted.
The Chief is also inviting the public to mark World Drowning Prevention Day by recognising the need for proven measures such as:
- Teaching swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills;
- Training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation;
- Enforcing safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations.
World Drowning Prevention Day, was declared in April 2021 by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/75/273, and is observed annually on July 25.
This global advocacy serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and to offer life-saving solutions to prevent this tragedy.
(Photo Credit: GOOGLE)
Note to editors: World Drowning Prevention Day 2022 Poster