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LCSD refutes allegations of concealing rescue figures

In response to allegations made by the vice-chairman of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Life Guards Union, Kwok Siu-kit, on Commercial Radio's "Teacup in a Storm" this morning (July 20) that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) had been concealing the true figures for life-saving actions, the LCSD issues the following statement:

The LCSD keeps figures of different categories of incidents in its swimming pools and on its beaches: rescue cases, fatal cases, give-a-hand cases and accident cases.

It is not unusual among government and professional life-saving bodies worldwide to publish figures of drowning cases only in reports concerning water safety.

The number of functional lifeguard posts at swimming pools is basically determined by such factors as the design, depth and purpose of the pools concerned, while the manpower requirements for temporary lifeguards at a particular pool is calculated on the basis of the highest attendance recorded at any one time in previous years at that pool.

Incident figures have no bearing on the number of lifeguard posts, whether functional or temporary.

There is therefore no question of artificially diminishing rescue figures to justify manpower reductions.

Ends/Tuesday, July 20, 2004
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