Four cases of drowning were reported so far this year, higher than the annual average.
The average drowning cases are three in Brunei.
This was highlighted yesterday by Beach Bunch President Mohd Rizan bin Dr Haji Abdul Latif, during the opening ceremony and certificate presentation for Brunei’s Lifesaving Programme at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Permanent Secretary (Safety, Welfare and Law) at the Ministry of Home Affairs Mohd Amir Hairil bin Haji Mahmud was the guest of honour.
“The first cases of this year occurred at the Berakas and Tungku beaches on the same day, on January 1. On July 15, two cases of drowning occurred simultaneously at Tungku beach,” said Mohd Rizan in his opening speech.
“We have to step up to reduce further incidences of drowning in Brunei. Our message to Brunei is ‘No One Should Drown’.
“The life-saving programme is a plan to further develop the health and safety of Brunei’s water and beach-related community. We have also developed a few programmes to build up an international and national network to promote awareness, lifesaving training, and surveillance through lifeguarding and patrols.”
He added, “The Beach Bunch is working with the Ministry of Education on raising awareness about safety in water.
“We have conducted the awareness programme for 140 students at 15 schools, and installed six rip current signs at beaches.
“In addition, we installed six items of rescue equipment for the public to use in cases of drowning.
“We have trained 20 lifesavers and lifeguards. With the participation of 40 people, we are expecting more lifesavers and lifeguards. We completed 100 hours of beach patrols and managed to rescue two people. We also prevented swimmers from possible drowning by warning them not to go into the water where there are rip currents.”
Later, the guest of honour presented lifesaver certificates to Dayangku Siti Khadeejah binti Pengiran Haji Mohd Yani, the first woman to complete the programme and Mohd Fadhilullah Tudun bin Haji Hassan, the first person to complete three courses for Lifesaver Instructor, Lifeguard at the Beach and Lifeguard at the Swimming Pool.