Drishti Marine, the state appointed lifeguard agency has rolled out new kits for its 400-member strong force and is changing the spoken nomenclature to ‘lifesavers’.
A departure from its bright red uniforms of the past, the new kit features a Navy blue dry-fit tshirt over a full sleeve white dry-fit UV-protect rashguard, worn with red shorts. Goa Tourism’s trademark ‘Goa’ logo is inscribed as a crest on the top right of the tee-shirt while Drishti’s logo is printed on the sleeve and shorts. The new kits have ‘Lifesavers’ inscribed on the back of the tee-shirts.
Explained by Ravi Shankar who heads operations at Drishti Marine, “With our entire team trained and ready under new global lifesaving guidelines for Covid-19, we felt it was the right time to make a fresh departure. Our boys have worked throughout the lockdown as essential services and are now ready to welcome visitors to the beach under new normal codes of safety. A lifesaver really is the final thread of hope for anyone in distress in the water. And Drishti’s lifesavers not only rescue people from the sea but have also been first responders for any emergency and medical situations which arise on shore; be it a cardiac arrest or a minor injury requiring first aid. They are also trained to correctly rescue and return to water any stranded beached marine life along the shore.”
Explaining further, says Ravi, “We realised that we needed to reinforce to people what the boys really do, which is, save lives. Often people tend to see the lads as someone who stops them from enjoying the water. When in fact it is to the contrary. The lifesavers only ask beach goers to fall back and return to shore if they feel an individual is in a potentially dangerous situation. and we have seen this unfortunately play through last few weeks alone with many rescues being carried out despite warnings.”
Says Ravi on the colours chosen for the new kits, “Blue was an obvious choice for us, its a marine colour, of the ocean and the sky. For India it is a primordial colour in our clothing history. Also in the context of today when the world is under such trying times we felt as a protective force in a recreational context, this has a calming effect and symbolises stability, reliability and wisdom – qualities which resonate with what Goa’s lifesavers stand for.”
Drishti Marine, Goa’s state appointed lifeguard agency have undergone extensive training in the new global lifesaving guidelines in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Explains Ravi Shankar, “The new Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) protocol has changed. Globally, hands-only CPR is recommended which includes compression of the chest, but no rescue breaths. In more advanced cases too, it’s a direct shift from the regular mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the use of a Bag Valve Mask (BVM) which is a self – inflating resuscitation device. This can reduce infections or diseases being transmitted in the process between victim and rescuer”.
With Goa having completely opened up for tourism and beachgoers making a bee-line for the shores, Goa’s beaches have witnessed a swell in visitors.