Bali's official lifesavers (Balawista) who safeguard major southern beaches for holidaymakers recorded 187 incidents thus far in 2010, resulting in 7 fatalities. Despite record numbers of visitors to Bali, these figure compare favorably with 2009 when 384 incidents and 15 deaths. The previous year of 2008 saw 314 incidents and 15 deaths.
Made Suparka, the coordinator of the Balawista brigade, said the improved performance of his team of dedicated lifesavers reflected the additional staff and better equipment introduce to the beach life guard service in 2010. Quoted in Radar Bali, Suparka said: "This year we obtained two additional life saving stations at Legian and Kedonganan. Hopefully next year we will receive more stations in order to optimize control of beach areas."
During a four day period from December 12-26, 2010, the Baliwista conducted a rigorous beach training to identify and train new candidates for their elite corps. The four day course introduces potential lifesavers to the duties of the Baliwista while also conducting beach games and water drills to test stamina and swimming skills. Of the 60 participants who began the program on Sunday, December 12th only 24 were still on hand at the end of the challenging program on Thursday, December 16, 2010.
Advanced life guard training in Bali is financially assisted by the Government of Australia.
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