KUCHING, June 20: The Civil Defence Force (APM) will be revamping its coastguard service by setting up a dedicated Baywatch unit, where its personnel would be posted at popular beaches across the country.
APM’s State Disaster Operations director Abdul Wahab Rahim said for Sarawak, there would be Baywatch units at Luak Beach near Miri Esplanade and at Damai Beach in Santubong, here.
This initiative may be extended to other popular beaches in the state in the future.
“We are in the midst of professionally training the volunteers who will man the zones (beaches). There will be eight men per zone of about 50m radius, depending on the tide,” he told reporters at APM Kota Samarahan here this morning.
He added that the volunteers had been in training for the past couple of months on water rescue procedures as well as CPR and would be ready for deployment next month.
As for the assets provided for each zone, he said the government was kind enough to provide ample assets like lifeboats, jet skis and other basic equipment, on top of existing watchtowers for each zone.
Abdul Wahab hoped with this initiative, the public, especially beachgoers, would be more aware of the unexpected dangers lurking in the waters and be assured that there would be Baywatch members looking out for them.
He revealed that from 2015 to May this year, the state APM recorded 62 cases of beach incidents, especially drowning cases, at the two Baywatch zones.
With the enhancement of APM’s Baywatch and standard operating procedures as well as their image, he hoped these incidents would be reduced. — DayakDaily