Lifeguards and the European Migrant Crisis

Lifeguard Times™ UK Correspondent

EuropeWhen it comes to choosing a rewarding yet challenging career path, becoming a lifeguard is, without question, one of the finest examples you could ever wish for. Becoming a lifeguard requires a whole host of different character traits and skills, so making the cut is certainly much tougher than many people could ever imagine. In most people’s eyes, all that you need to become a lifeguard is a strong swimming ability, when in reality, whilst a strong swimming ability is indeed essential, you require much more than that. Whether you choose to become a lifeguard on the beach, at the leisure centre, at the local swimming baths, or anywhere else for that matter, you must prepare yourself for the fact that making the grade is extremely tough. With the recent migrant crisis plaguing Europe, the need for coastal lifeguards is greater than ever, and if you are looking to help and make a difference, here’s a more detailed look at what you need to know.

What is the European migrant crisis? – Unless you’ve been living a very sheltered life for the last few years, you will no doubt have heard about the European migrant crisis on numerous occasions. Sometimes referred to as the European refugee crisis, the European migrant crisis basically occurred when European countries began seeing a sudden influx of refugees seeking asylum by fleeing war-torn parts of the world. Most recently, it is refugees from Syria that have made the several thousand mile journey to Europe, in an attempt to literally flee from a country being ravaged by war. In actual fact, the three primary nationalities of migrants arriving in Europe have been 8% Iraqi, 21% Afghan, and an astonishing 49% Syrian. These migrants were, and still are, literally desperate to escape the horrors of war and as a result, as the saying goes ‘desperate people do desperate things’. We have seen migrants hiding in the back of vehicles, hanging onto the underside of moving lorries, hanging onto aeroplanes, attempting to hitch hike, and attempting to reach a safe haven by sea. Tragically, back in April of 2015, more than 1,200 migrants sadly lost their lives as the lifeboats that were carrying them, which were far too full, sadly sank. Amongst those dead were countless women and children. Although we don’t necessarily hear about it every day, these types of events happen on a regular basis, which is one of the reasons why Europe needs more lifeguards.

eu-migrant-crisisWhat are the main reasons why Europe needs more lifeguards? – As mentioned, although we don’t hear about it on news outlets on a daily basis, migrants and refuges from all across the globe, are constantly seeking asylum in Europe, and unfortunately, many of them attempt to reach European soils by sea. The events of April 2015 were tragic, yet migrants and refugees constantly attempt to brave the rough sea waters in an attempt to make a better life for themselves and their families. Lifeguards are constantly required because the risk of migrants, or anybody else for that matter, getting into trouble in the waters, day or night, is always there. Even if a lifeguard can help save just one extra life, all of their training and hard work will have been worth it.

European,Migrant,CrisisCan innovations in lifeguard technology play a role in saving lives? – There have been recent advances in lifesaving technologies that will undoubtedly be implemented by lifeguards and rescue teams around the world. Advances in drone technology has created interest in adapting them for water rescue use. The new LIFE ™ Rescue Tube has been adopted by lifeguards and aquatic facilities across the USA and will soon be in use in migrant crisis affected areas in Europe and the  Middle East. This advanced new rescue tube appears to show in early testing the potential to reduce the overall time it takes to rescue a victim. These advances in lifesaving technology coupled with improved communication methods such as enhanced internet infrastructure and the availability of mobile phones, will be invaluable tools for those lifesavers tasked with the life and death issue that is the European migrant crisis.

Lifeguards can help make a difference, and it doesn’t matter about laws, politics, or religious beliefs, at the end of the day, whether they’re seeking asylum or simply on holiday, anybody getting into trouble in the water will be a life worth saving, and a lifeguard could potentially help do just that. The more lifeguards there are, the more lives can potentially be saved.

To watch a video demonstrating the time saving feature of the LIFE™ Rescue Tube click here.

For future articles about lifeguarding and related industry topics, visit www.lifeguardtimes.com.

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