Thirty lifeguards, including volunteer, seasonal, and those from the state and municipal governments, have been training prior to the holiday season, engaging in physical exercise and rescue and first aid techniques.
Starting Dec. 5 at 6:30 a.m., physical activities such as running and swimming took place on Zicatela Beach. They are activities that will soon become part of the daily routine for the lifeguard team during the upcoming vacations.
Fire Chief Manuel Maza Sánchez explained that among the volunteers are tourist service providers interested in assisting their guests in the pool and beach areas in case of any eventuality.
He added that due to the interest and enthusiasm shown by children and teenagers to get involved as lifeguards, lifeguard coordinator Godofredo Vásquez Bohórquez started a “junior lifeguard” training program, with great success.
“The minors must have the support, by means of a consent form, of their parents, and undergo a medical examination,” he said.
The volunteer and seasonal lifeguards are trained in rescue techniques, the correct use of life buoys, correct handling of aqua scooter equipment and other beach vehicles.
“It is expected that during the Christmas and New Year season more lifeguard towers will be installed along the Zicatela, Punta Zicatela, Marinero and Bahía Principal beaches,” added Vásquez.
For the lifeguards “It is discipline more than anything else, arriving early for training and paying attention to do our best, because our goal is to prepare ourselves to be able to help other people,” volunteer Jesús Ávila said.
Among the volunteer lifeguards are Martín and Carmela, who have already served as volunteer lifeguards in other parts of the continent. “We have volunteered in Brazil and Colombia, now we are in México and yes, we like it a lot . . . They told us that Zicatela Beach is very dangerous, I had to see it with its high waves and it made me nervous,” said Carmela, originally from Argentina.
“We talked with Godo and he gave me the opportunity to work with this group,” said Martín. “I am impressed by the discipline and rescue techniques, which are very similar to those of other places . . . we hope to do a good job and help people, so that people do not drown during these vacations.”
Maza called on swimmers and beachgoers to abide by the lifeguards’ recommendations, to swim with the appropriate clothing, to identify risky areas and to avoid eating food or drinking alcoholic beverages before entering the sea or a pool.
The Puerto Escondido lifeguard team is officially part of the local fire department.
During the last four months, Puerto Escondido lifeguards have performed 36 rescues, with no casualties to report.
According to figures from the Puerto Escondido Hotel Association, occupancy rates of around 70% are expected for Christmas and 95% for New Year’s Eve.