Tuesday, March 2,  2010– Public rescue equipment will also be installed at the rear of the signs which consists of a United States Coast Guard approved life ring and a connected 25-metre (75 feet) floating rope, to be used only in cases of emergency. – Lifeguards and beach safety officers of the Conservation and Fisheries Department are in the process of replacing and erecting new beach safety signs on Tortola’s north shore beaches and on Beef Island.

Lifeguard Supervisor Mr. Mark Street said the signs contain important life saving information which can minimise risk, injury, and loss of life. Mr. Street further stressed the importance of the public becoming familiar with the signs which showcase warning information and the beach safety flag warning system.

“The signs are there to warn and inform persons of the very real dangers associated with visiting the beach and entering the ocean. If in doubt, do not go out. If you can, always swim near a lifeguard. If not, take notice of the beach safety information and never swim alone,” Mr. Street added.
Mr. Street noted that in emergency cases and in the absence of lifeguards “persons requiring the use of the public rescue equipment must throw the ring to the causality in the water then pull to shore. They should never enter the water.”

The first and only replacement sign was erected at Little Bay Beach, located on the eastern end of Tortola, which during the ground swell season experiences high swells and strong rip currents. In the coming weeks, new signs are scheduled to be erected on beaches at Rogues Bay; Trunk Bay; Long Bay, West End; Long Bay, Beef Island and Brewer's Bay.

The Beach Safety Unit of the Conservation and Fisheries Department aims to promote safety at beaches throughout the Territory. With the installation of additional signage and public rescue equipment, it is envisioned that beach users will be more educated and better informed when visiting the beach.

Beach Safety Officers Messrs Akim Johnson and Fransua Samuel pose alongside the newly erected Beach Safety replacement sign at Little Bay Beach, Tortola. The rear of the sign is equipped with public rescue equipment consisting of a United States Coast Guard approved life ring and a connected 25 metre floating rope. These are to be used in cases of emergency only. (Photo Credit: CFD/Mr. Wilbert Chambers)