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That Sinking Feeling

Funding Being Sought to Increase the Number of Life-Savers and Life-Saving Stations in Bali's South.

(7/3/2010) The Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) is calling for more life-saving stations to be installed on Bali's famous Kuta Beach, increasing the current total of 6 stations to 11.

The demand for more lifeguard stands follows the death of 3 young students enjoying a school outing at the Kuta surf beach known for its substantial waves. The regency's legislators are seeking a larger allocation in the 2011 budget to pay for the proposed additional 5 safety stations.

Identifying a lack of life-saving hardware and personnel on all beaches in Badung, legislators are insistent that measures be taken to prevent future water fatalities. The current number of lifeguards working on Badung's beaches totals 129, substantially less than the 160 guards believed needed to adequately guard Bali's southern beaches. Officials have also identified an urgent need to provide a higher level of pay and benefits to the people who, despite the current limitations, are credited with saving hundreds of lives each year. In 2009 Bali's lifeguards or balawista were involved in 369 rescues and the retrieval of 16 swimmers who perished in Bali's waters.