Mangalore will soon have life-saving clubs that will teach its members life-saving skills, thus promoting fun coupled with safety-consciousness.

Chief executive officer of the Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project Yathish Baikampady told The Hindu that the first such club would be started in Baikampady followed by Bengre and Ullal.

“We are planning to mobilise youth for the clubs and teach them rescue skills. It will not be a full-time job, so these skills can be turned to life-saving games, which are held at the international level,” Mr. Yathish said.

The clubs would be affiliated to the Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS) and the Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), which were life-saving organisations of international standards.

The beach tourism project was hosting a training centre affiliated to these organisations in Mangalore, which would provide the backbone for life-saving clubs, he said.

The Panambur training centre would receive infrastructure and training from the RLSS and SLSA.

The most basic skill required would be familiarity with swimming in the sea, Mr. Yathish said. This would be followed by training in the use of surf-board, inflatable rubber boats and jet skis for rescue efforts and also first-aid.

Once the clubs were set up, they could have their own constitution and bylaws, provided they were in line with the parent organisations' rules and requirements. Eventually, after they become proficient with the skills, they could organise inter-club life-saving games. “The most important thing here is how fast you can reach the victim,” he said.

Mr. Yathish said that to begin with, he was working with the youth to get them interested in the initiative. But the clubs would be open to all those interested to join, provided they were aged above 16, he said.

Another group of people equipped with some basic skills were the local fishermen. “They are already used to dealing with the rough sea,” Mr. Yathish said.

Around half an acre of land located to the north of Panambur Beach had been identified for a building, he said.

Mr. Yathish could not give a definite time as to when it would begin functioning.

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