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Most LCSD aquatic venues can partially open tomorrow

Most of the swimming pools and gazetted beaches of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) can keep partially open for the public tomorrow (August 1).

Speaking at this afternoon's (July 31) media briefing on the latest assessment of the opening of LCSD's aquatic facilites, the Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Mr Alan Siu, noted that the department is still making its last-ditch effort to urge the lifeguards to stand fast at their posts for the sake of swimmers' safety and to provide stable and reliable lifeguard services for members of the public.

"Also, we appeal once more to the lifeguards to stay calm. They are welcome to discuss with the department on issues of their concerns. We reiterated that the outsourcing of management work of new facilities will definitely have no effect on any of the existing staff members. We hope that each of our lifeguards can stand fast at their posts, thus enabling people to enjoy swimming in the safest environment," he said.

Mr Siu noted that the department has contacted several groups, including the Auxiliary Medical Service, Hong Kong Life Saving Society, Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association and Hong Kong Swimming Teachers' Association, from which 180 honorary lifeguards and 160 Auxiliary Medical Service members will be available to provide services at the partially opened swimming pools and gazetted beaches.

"The safety of our swimmers is of our paramount importance. The aquatic facilties will only be open if sufficient qualified lifeguards are secured to perform their duties at these venues," he said.

At present, it is expected that three swimming pools, including Lei Cheng Uk Swimming Pool, Tuen Mun Yan Oi Tong Swimming Pool and Fanling Swimming Pool may be closed due to insufficient lifeguard services; eight gazetted beaches, namely Deep Water Bay Beach, Repulse Bay Beach, Middle Bay Beach, Chung Hom Kok Beach and St. Stephen Bay Beach in Southern District, Hong Kong Island, and Kadoorie Beach, Cafeteria Old Beach and Cafeteria New Beach in Tuen Mun District, may have their lifeguard services suspended.

Meanwhile, four water sports centres - Chong Hing Water Sports Centre, St. Stephen Bay Water Sports Centre, Tai Mei Tuk Water Sports Centre and Jockey Club Wong Shek Water Sports Centre - and three outdoor recreation centres/holiday village – Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre, Tso Kung Tam Outdoor Recreation Centre and Lady MacLehose Holiday Village, will maintain normal services.

"A total of some 1,300 swimming training courses may be suspended. Arrangements for making up the missed lessions or refunds will be made for the participants so affected," he added.

Seven swimming pools scheduled to have their weekly cleansing operations on Monday will be closed from 10am until dusk.

Announcements regarding the opening details of the swimming pools, gazetted beaches and water sports centres will be made starting 7am tomorrow.

The public should pay attention to the announcements on radio and TV, visit the LCSD's website at or enquire on the Government Hotline 1823 for details.

"Related notices will be displayed at the entrances to the aquatic venues and announcements will be made via the public announcement systems in the venues. To ensure that the general public learn the latest situations at gazetted beaches, red flags will be hoisted at the respective gazetted beaches where sufficient lifeguard services cannot be provided," Mr Siu said.

Ends/Sunday, July 31, 2005

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