Deaths related to drowning in Ghana is becoming more alarming as many people lose their lives in water especially during festive occasions at our beaches and resorts. Most of these injury related deaths could have been prevented if there were qualified lifeguards stationed to oversee swimming activities in these areas.
Despite the treats drowning causes to our tourist industries, lifeguarding within our country has not been given much attention. This is evident in the limited number of lifeguards stationed within various swimming centers throughout the country. Most of these lifeguards, even though are strong swimmers, lack the basic skills of post-rescue activities such as administering first aid; CPR and recovery position.
In an effort to reduce drowning deaths in the country, Felix Foundation started a partnership program with the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA) in November 2016 where 120 volunteers from the security and humanitarian organizations within the country were trained on ocean lifeguarding. The 3 day training course educated participants on basic lifeguarding techniques. The training became the basis for the creation of a lifeguarding group within the country called Ghana National Aquatic Rescue Unit (GNARU). Volunteers from GNARU are deployed as lifeguards to busy beaches during public holidays to help oversee the safety of people who visit such beaches especially during festive occasions.
The following Organizations are members of GNARU: National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
Ghana National Ambulance Service, Ghana Red Cross Society, Marine Cadets, Marine Police, Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Felix Foundation, 48 Engineers Regiment, Ministry of Defense, Ghana Navy.
The activities of GNARU will go a long way to help make our tourists sites safe while promoting domestic tourism and also reducing injury-related deaths in Ghana.