23 November 2017

Namibia: Lifeguard Service Determined to Save Lives This Holiday

The Monarch Lifeguard and Emergency Services company was established in February 2017 by 31-year-old Martin Muyenga, after he had rescued a number of people from drowning at the beach in Walvis Bay.

These include a seven-year-old boy he saved from drowning during the April holidays, as well as the boy's parents who had tried to save him.

According to Muyenga, he had noticed the high drowning incidents and realised that a lot of training and awareness campaigns were needed to save people at beaches and pools.

Muyenga has been working in naval operations for nine years now, and has a lot of aquatic experience. He said he wants to pass on the knowledge he has to the youth, and make a difference in the lives of Namibians.

"I advertised training opportunities in the media and trained 16 young people from all over Namibia. I then selected the best swimmers after four days of training. The boys are strong swimmers and they are doing well," he said.

The company has three permanent employees and 10 lifeguards on standby for the festive season.

Muyenga says the company will hire out these highly trained lifeguards to recreational facilities, pool parties, beaches, rivers, dams or any water body where the lives of people could be at risk.

The company specialises in lifeguarding, sea rescue and safety, search and emergency response, first aid, swimming classes, vessel fire fighting and flood control.

Muyenga encouraged the public to support Namibian businesses.

"Most people believe in foreign companies more than their own. People also compare big companies to smaller ones, not realising that small entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to demonstrate their skills. Utilising small companies, especially those training youth, also boosts the confidence of our young people," he said.

Some of the trainees, who will be working as lifeguards during the festive season, explained what the sea rescue-training meant for them.

"I commend the company for giving us new skills we never had. Muyenga has equipped us with international training that is needed in our country. There were different levels from beginners to experienced people. Namibians can ensure that lifeguarding and sea rescue will be more successful this year," said Albertus Eichab.

Markus Mutjida said the course had helped him both mentally and physically.

"It was tough, but I enjoyed it. It prepares you in different ways. I did not know anything, but I came out with a lot of skills, both theoretical and practical. I am ready to save lives," he said.

Muyenga shared a few tips with the public, in order to make the upcoming festive season safe.

"Do not engage in any water activities after the consumption of alcohol. Some people attempt to rescue others without the necessary skills and this is dangerous. It is better to use things like long tree branches to save somebody than risk your own life. Do not dive head first into the water if the pool is not deep enough and only swim where you can see a lifeguard."

He advised pool owners to install fences of at least four feet around a home pool for children's safety.

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