JIS News

The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) staged its inaugural lifeguard challenge in Montego Bay on Saturday (Nov.17), to raise public awareness about the role of lifeguards in saving lives and highlight their contribution to the tourism product.
A total of 12 teams drawn from entities in Western Jamaica participated in the event held at the Cornwall Beach Complex, where team members matched their skills in lifesaving procedures including resuscitation, rescue, and identifying and prioritizing victims.
In her address before the start of the competition, Executive Director of TPDCo, Karen Ford-Warner, said that a key aim of the event is to raise the profile of lifeguards and highlight the importance of the profession in the tourism industry, where watersports are widely practised.
“I don’t think that people really recognize in our country how important lifeguards are, so this sort of event is part of our effort to raise the profile and let people know that without lifeguards, there is a big part of our industry that just could not happen,” Mrs. Ford-Warner observed.
She noted also, that TPDCO hoped to promote the life guard profession as a desirable occupation within the tourism sector.
Chairman of TPDCo, Robert Russell, in declaring the competition open, commended the lifeguards for the critical role they play in ensuring safety on the beaches.
“Very often, people come (to the beach), they swim and forget about safety and you are the gentlemen and ladies that we have to depend on to ensure that these people are safe. I just want to congratulate you all and wish you success in what you are doing,” Mr. Russell said.
The Sandals Royal team emerged the winner of the competition, copping the Royal Life Saving Society’s (RLSS) Iron Guard Trophy. Don Christopher Barnes, the youngster who recently received the Badge of Honour for Gallantry for saving his friend from drowning, presented the trophy to the winning team.
Grand Lido Negril was second, while Sandals Montego Bay placed third.