Officers in the joint Customs and Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Marine Unit have become the first marine enforcement officers in the Caribbean to be internationally certified as lifeguards.
Seven officers from the unit completed the two- week, 30-hour American Red Cross Lifeguard training programme with the Cayman Islands Red Cross.
The course is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies effectively, with content and activities focusing on how to help prevent drowning and injury, said an RCIPS press release.
The course covered topics such as in-water rescue, caring for unconscious drowning victims, submerged drowning victims and first aid, including dealing with spinal injuries, muscle injuries, bones and joints and CPR and defibrillation.
‘This was a great course,’ said Acting Sergeant Jeremy Dufour. ‘All seven officers passed, resulting in the unit being more prepared than ever to deal with an emergency on the water. I would recommend that anyone who works in or around the water should complete this course, whether they operate near the sea or a swimming pool.’
On 18 January, three officers carried out a demonstration of a spinal injury rescue at the Sandbar in the North Sound in front of course lecturers, swimming coach Dominic Ross and Red Cross Training Manager, Peter Hughes.
‘Although the officers made it look easy, carrying out rescues in the ocean where waves, high winds and currents are present is extremely difficult,’ said Mr. Hughes.
‘They did a great job, and although they all started off a little nervous and doubtful at the beginning of the course, they all passed with flying colours. Adding these skills to the unit will be hugely beneficial to the Cayman Islands.’
Anyone wanting further information on the course should contact Mr. Hughes at the Cayman Islands Red Cross on 949-6785;email: [email protected] or swimming coach Dominic Ross on 916-5432; email: [email protected].