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Treading Water

Need for More Safety Training of Baliís Water Sports Personnel

(3/9/2014) The Bali chapter of the Indonesia Water Sport Entrepreneurs Association (Gahawisri) is asking the provincial government of Bali to facilitate the training of water sports guides on a minimum schedule of twice a year.

I Ketut Tirta, executive secretary of Gahawisri-Bali, told the State News Agency Antara, “On the average every water sports operator employs 20-25 guides, but those to whom we are able to provide training is only around two people for each company.”

Tirta said the training of water sports guides is very important given the risks implied in their field of work. Water guides, he said, need to know about the weather, sea conditions and safety procedures.

“The training we provide provides at least the base foundation for water sports guides, making them better able to perform professionally in providing service to tourists. At the very least, we hope it will eliminate all accidents,” he explained.

Tirta said he has repeatedly reminded Gahawisri members to put safety concerns before profit in serving their tourist guests. At the same time, members are asked to establish standard operating and safety procedures for marine operations.

Tirta alluded to the recent incident in which two Japanese tourists died, saying the failure to use a local guide was a contributing factor in that tragedy. “In fact, every foreign company is required to used local guides who know the local sea conditions. In this regard, we think government supervision is weak. We hope in the future that government will intensify their supervision of foreigners working without the proper permits,” said Tirta.