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SHA praises LCSD lifeguards who manned their posts

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, has praised Leisure and Cultural Services Department lifeguards who manned their posts today (August 1).

During a visit to Sha Tin Jockey Club Swimming Pool this morning, Dr Ho also thanked the honorary lifeguards and all other staff who had done their utmost to maintain the continuity and safety of the aquatic venues.

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong, and the Community Sports Committee joined the visit to the swimming pool to see the latest opening arrangements of the facilities.

Dr Ho said that more than 65% of the LCSD lifeguards who should have been on duty, stood fast at their posts, enabling the safest environment for people to enjoy swimming.

“I appeal once again to the lifeguards to be on the side of the swimmers and to provide safe, reliable, high standard and continuous lifeguard services,” he said.

Dr Ho again gave an assurance that no existing staff members would be affected by outsourcing the management work of new facilities.

“The move to outsource management work of newly completed facilities is the Government’s prevailing policy,” he said.

Ms Wong, said the department fully understood the lifeguards’ concerns about their career development and she hoped that lifeguards would hold discussions with the department and work out suggestions for their self enhancement.

The Chairman of the Community Sports Committee, Mr Chow Hau-chen, also praised the the LCSD lifeguards who had stood fast at their posts.

The committee hoped that the union would maintain communication with the department.

A member of the committee, Dr Lo Wing-lok, pointed out that one of the committee's major tasks was to monitor the safety and level of hygiene of swimming pools.

He was pleased to hear that the safety and level of hygiene of Sha Tin Jockey Club Swimming Pool had not been affected by today's partial opening.

This morning, two swimming pools were closed due to insufficient lifeguard services, while the other 34 swimming pools remained open or partially open. Meanwhile, lifeguard services were suspended at 10 gazetted beaches. All swimming pools at water sports centres and holiday village/outdoor recreation centres opened as usual.

The LCSD will frequently assess the latest situation and immediately update details. People should pay attention to the announcements on radios and TV, browse the LCSD’s website or enquire the Government Hotline 1823 for details.

Ends/Monday, August 1, 2005

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