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LCSD releases pool and beach incident figures

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (July 21) clarified the classification of incidents occurring at its public swimming pools and on its beaches.

Incidents are grouped under four main categories: fatal cases, rescue cases, give-a-hand cases and accident cases.

Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Paul Cheung Kwok-kee, said that the department kept clear records of all categories of incidents for the purpose of identifying and rectifying potential hazards in its aquatic facilities with a view to ensuring swimmers' safety.

A fatal case means a case with death due to drowning.

A rescue case is a "near drowning" case, or a case in which an ambulance is called to deliver a swimmer who has experienced difficulty in water to the hospital for medical treatment.

Give-a-hand cases include all rescue operations in water other than rescue cases, as defined above. Examples include exhaustion, cramp, etc.

Accident cases are non-swimming related injury cases.

"Speculations that management has pared down incident figures to justify manpower reduction are totally unfounded, since the number of lifeguard posts is not calculated on the basis of the number of incidents recorded," Mr Cheung reiterated.

"We will not cut lifeguard posts because the number of incidents recorded is small," Mr Cheung further emphasised.
"In fact, all the incident figures are readily available for anyone interested to see," he added.

The incident figures for the calendar year 2003 are:

36 public swimming pools: 3 fatal cases, 96 rescue cases, 1,535 give-a-hand cases and 414 accident cases.

32 beaches: 5 fatal cases, 190 rescue cases, 751 give-a-hand cases and 166 accident cases.

The incident figures for 2004 (up to end of June) are:

36 public swimming pools: 0 fatal case, 55 rescue cases, 818 give-a-hand cases and 166 accident cases.

32 beaches: 2 fatal cases, 59 rescue cases, 494 give-a-hand cases and 48 accident cases.

The incident figures will be uploaded onto LCSD's website ( http://www.lcsd.gov.hk ) tomorrow (July 22). They will be updated monthly for public inspection.

Ends/Wednesday, July 21, 2004
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