Where are the Lifeguards?

Englerston MP says former admin. trained and deployed 12 lifeguards

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Amid a series of drownings this month, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin yesterday questioned what happened to a lifeguard program, which she said was introduced for a number of public beaches in New Providence under the Christie administration.

According to the former Cabinet minister, the former administration selected and trained a dozen lifeguards, who were posted on a number of beaches, including Long Wharf, where Ethan Miller, 16, drowned while swimming Monday around 3 p.m.

Member of Parliament for Englerston, Glenys Hanna-Martin.

Hanna-Martin said someone needs to explain what has happened.

“Lifeguards were recruited and trained,” she told Eyewitness News Online.

“We had 12 in total that were a part of the first graduating class of lifeguards.

“They were deployed on Montague, Junkanoo Beach, [and] Long Wharf.

“On holidays they would check Goodman’s Bay and Saunders Beach.”

Hanna-Martin continued, “I think the question has to be raised, what is the status and has it been abandoned?”

“If it has been abandoned, in light of what we have seen, what is the response of government.”

Calls placed to Shanendon Cartwright, chairman of the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority, were not returned up to press time.

The lack of presence of lifeguards on public beaches has been raised in the aftermath of seven drownings this month.

“Public beaches need lifeguards to oversee them, like any tourist destination and not just limited to resorts,” Facebook user Junior Russell said in response to an Eyewitness News broadcast last night.

Tangerine Curry-Dinnick, a lifeguard trainer and Evolve Functional Fitness owner, opined that public outcry for the implementation of lifeguards on public beaches is warranted.

“Anything could happen to anyone at any point,” he said.

“You could hit your heard or have a stroke, but if no one is around it’s hard to save yourself or have someone help to save you.

“Some of these drownings might have been prevented if someone was out there [who] was responsible and keeping an eye out.

“When no one is looking out, it literally takes seconds for someone to drown. Anything can happen.”