Lifeguards frustrated; warn citizens to avoid North Coast beaches this weekend

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Lifeguards frustrated; warn citizens to avoid North Coast beaches this weekend

Late salary payments, poor working conditions and the presence of dilapidated watchtowers.
These are just some of the reasons driving lifeguards off the beach.

Several lifeguards have expressed their frustrations and they are now cautioning citizens to avoid heading to the beaches along the North Coast this week.

Patrol Captain of the Maracas Bay Lifeguard Unit Karl Hernandez, in a GML report, said lifeguards have been encountering challenges in carrying out their duties for over 17 years.

He said the main issue lies in the fact that lifeguards are currently facing delays in receiving their salaries.

He said, “These fellows here, I give them some bad news right now. So, I don’t know what’s going on weekend, I really don’t know what’s going on weekend. I will come, I can’t talk for everybody because they have a whole fortnight to fix up the pay.

“Right now, they (The Ministry of National Security) call and say the cheque did not go to the bank. So, that might be quite next week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”

The lifeguards complained that only one lifeguard tower in Maracas Bay is in good condition, while the others are dilapidated.

Hernandez added, “I want to talk to the trade union a little bit too, because we’re not getting representation. Our situation has been happening for about 17 years now and we have the same problem. We are short of staff and there are issues with the facility and equipment. Right now, they take away medical … we have no medical now.”

“I want to advise the Prime Minister, if you’re treating your people so, how could we be comfortable with you? Reach out to people, lifeguards are people too. Right now, we have nothing, we have no vehicles. Yes, one day, the jet ski had a problem..They refused to take care of it or even service it,” he claimed.