ISLA teaches open water safety to children in the Dominican Republic
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.
- May 8, 2014
-- Over the Easter weekend, ISLA and Lifeguard Without Borders sent a team of 9 professional lifeguards to assist the Dominican Civil Defense and the staff from Viva Wyndham Tangerine with aquatic safety lifeguard rescue operations in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. The Semana Santa holiday celebration in Cabarete is known all over the country for its big crowds, sponsored beach parties, music festivals, and treacherous beach conditions.
On Good Friday, a moderate swell arrived on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic causing large waves, powerful shore pound, and strong rips currents. These hazardous conditions along with a crowd for more than 12,500 people kept the ISLA team busy with rescues and public safety. The lifeguard team rescued 21 people over their 4 days of work and their preventative actions saved another 65 people. The ISLA team also assisted the Dominican Civil Defense with 10 major medical events.
Prior to the Semana Santa Holiday weekend, the ISLA team had the opportunity to work with 18 young women from the Mariposa DR Foundation, a non-profit organization in Cabarete dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Dominican young women through education, empowerment, and employment. The ISLA team taught basic ocean safety and rescue, First Aid, and CPR over a period of three days and spent time in the classroom as well as on the beach, practicing rescues, identifying rip currents and how to swim out of the currents, and learning victim carries. ISLA also taught survival swimming and water safety to children from the 3 Mariposa Montisori School, another non-profit organization in Cabarete.
This project marked the third year that ISLA has assisted the Dominican Civil Defense in aquatic safety during the Semana Santa celebration, and for the third year in a row, there have been zero drownings in Cabarete over the Semana Santa holiday.
Founded in 2008, ISLA exists to advance professional lifesaving development to areas in need around the globe. Out of a deep passion for open water and a strong desire to prevent drownings, ISLA aids people in championing the aquatic safety situation in their own coastal communities through lifeguard training programs, lifeguard exchanges, equipment donations, purchasing connections, and utilizing the latest technology to sustain a global network of lifeguards that share information, techniques, stories, and culture. ISLA’s mission is to see friends and partners around the globe have the necessary tools to keep their water safe.