Life Life

30/06/2019 - 07:20

Beach lifeguards

Although the salary is small, due to their passion, those who work as lifeguards in rescue teams at the beach are still working quietly every day to ensure the safety for the swimmers.

Members of the lifeguard team collecting life jackets and round buoys after the guests have finished swimming

Lifeguards must also "pass an examination"

As a child, Mr. Tran Ky in Thuan An town (Phu Vang) followed his father down to the water every day. He had been working closely with the sea ever since. During his time working as a fisherman, Mr. Ky became one of the best swimmers in the region. After he got married and had children, he would always take his children to the beach to teach them how to swim because of his passion and water safety. 

Thuan An beach has been attracting more and more visitors and the beach services are becoming more professional. The local authorities set up a lifeguard and rescue team, serving the work of safety protection for tourists. Mr. Ky "petitioned" to attend the admission examination. Dozens of candidates registered, which was a much bigger turn out than expected, and they were all excellent swimmers.

In order to ensure fairness and transparency, to select a truly good and enthusiastic swimmer, the local government must organize a "swimming competition for talent selection". The competition took place publicly with the witness of many local people and visitors.

Mr. Ky and other 8 people, who were in the top among 30 contestants, were selected. They all signed a contract to become a lifeguard and rescue team member in Thuan An beach.

"Being born and raised in the land "of the wind and waves" and having witnessed a number of pitiful drownings, I have always had a passion since childhood to be able to participate in and contribute to protecting people's safety. Later when I heard the recruiting announcement for the rescue team, it was an opportunity for me to realize my dream,” said Mr. Ky.

In his "career" of protecting the safety of guests swimming in the sea, Mr. Ky also tasted joys and bitterness. His happiness is when each day comes and goes without any incidents. 

By meeting and talking with visitors each day, he realized that material wealth, being rich or poor cannot equate to human love. To him, teaching children to swim and protecting the safety of tourists mean happiness.

Life is not a dream. There were times when the guests were overcrowded, and the situation was not entirely controlled or when tourists did not abide by the regulations, causing unfortunate incidents. Sometimes visitors swim passing the safety zone, got cramps and were swept away by the waves. Mr. Ky and other lifeguards in the rescue team urgently organized a rescue, bringing victims to the shore and performing CPR to save their lives.

"The prejudice of many people when saving a drowning person is ‘a life for a life’. So, every time I saved someone, I was worried and had a difficult time. Sometimes I was afraid and wanted to quit my job, but because of my passion and responsibility to the community and society, I followed my career until now. Every day is a happy day when not only the safety of visitors but also my safety is ensured", Mr. Ky said.

The most dreadful part of the job with Mr. Ky is when there happens an unfortunate incident and someone drowns. Although he was not responsible in these cases, he always felt guilty for not fulfilling his duties.

At that time, he was the first person to come to the victim's family to pay his respects, encourage them and apologize. Every time he remembered the drowning cases, the unlucky fates, he told himself to try and be more responsible for protecting the safety of visitors.

Instructing children to wear life jackets before swimming

For safety

"We did not choose the wrong people" is the affirmation of Vice Chairman of Thuan An Town People's Committee, Head of Management Board of Thuan An beach Nguyen Van Giau when evaluating the work of the lifeguard and rescue team members at Thuan An beach.

The lifeguard and rescue team has 9 people. Although their salary is only 3-4 million VND per month, everyone is passionate about the job. They are not only good swimmers but also the ones enthusiastic and responsible for their work.

In the summer season, all 9 lifeguards have to take turns patrolling the beach until it is emptied. In the dark or early morning, they go to the beach to see if anyone has come to swim. Accidents and drowning incidents in the past have all been due to objective factors, or because the swimmers were careless and did not comply with the regulations.

The rescue team has to work harder when the beach is crowded

With the responsibility as the head of the beach management board, Mr. Giau always made timely proposals to all levels and departments to pay attention to supporting facilities for patrol and rescue at sea. The beach team is equipped with a canoe, but is only used when necessary. When drowning occurs, the members often swim quickly to save the victims.

Each member of the lifeguard and rescue team is equipped with at least two life jackets, two rescue buoys and a portable speaker for reminding visitors. At the Management Board, there are many life jackets and buoys to provide people to participate in rescue when necessary.

The members of the lifeguard and rescue team also participated in training courses in handling rescue and emergency first aid, CPR, etc., which are held annually at the beginning of the sea tourism season. A number of previous victims have been rescued thanks to the team of proficient rescuers with their emergency rescue skills and their prompt transportation of victims to the nearest medical facility for treatment.

Chairman of Phu Dien Commune People's Committee (Phu Vang), Mr. Hoang Trong Doai highly appreciated the enthusiasm of the lifeguard and rescue workers at Phu Dien beach. Most of them come to this job only because of their passion, responsibility to the social community, and the safety of visitors.

In addition to patrolling and rescuing work, some lifeguard and rescue team members also do life jackets renting and showering services to earn more income.

For a long time at Phu Dien beach, there has not been any drowning, partly thanks to the active management and support of the lifeguard and rescue team.

Story and photos: Hoang Trieu