In response to media enquiries regarding the Hong Kong & Kowloon Life Guards Union's call to stage a strike on Sport for All Day on August 5 to protest against the shortage of lifeguard manpower at swimming pools and beaches, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (July 31) said the department would closely monitor the situation and deploy appropriate manpower so as to minimise the inconvenience likely to be caused by the strike to members of the public.
The spokesman said that the department was formulating a contingency plan and seeking assistance from the Hong Kong Life Saving Society and venue-based lifeguard clubs to provide volunteer lifeguards to the affected public swimming pools and beaches on the day.
Moreover, the department would employ extra temporary lifeguards to reinforce life saving services at swimming pools on Sport for All Day in order to keep public swimming pools open as far as practicable for members of the public to enjoy free swimming on the day, the spokesman said.
To ensure the safety of swimmers, if there are insufficient lifeguards on duty on August 5, LCSD will not rule out the possibility of closing part of the swimming pool facilities. At beaches, red flags will be hoisted by the department to alert swimmers not to swim when there are insufficient lifeguards on duty.
"The safety of swimmers is always our prime concern in our deployment plans," the spokesman added.
He stressed that the department would continue its dialogue with the union and the staff in a positive manner and appealed to lifeguard colleagues to put public interest at the forefront and stand steadfast in their duties on August 5.
Earlier on, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services had written to all lifeguard colleagues saying the department attached much importance to manpower requirements at swimming pools and beaches, and explaining in depth the work done and plans made to tackle the issue on all fronts. (Please refer to the press release issued on July 27 for details.)
Ends/Tuesday, July 31, 2012