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PRO3 deploys ‘Baywatch’ cops after spike in drowning incidents

CAMP OLIVAS — Police Regional Office 3 Director PBGen Jose S. Hidalgo Jr. on March 30 encouraged the public to take extra precautions while swimming in beaches and resorts.

Based on reports from the Regional Tactical Operations Center, from January to date, a total of 30 drowning incidents were recorded wherein 27 persons including some children died. Records show that from January until the end of summer vacation in May last year, there were 45 drowning incidents of which 42 died. Most of the drowning incidents happened in the seas while the rest happened in rivers.

Gen. Hidalgo emphasized to the public, “If you plan to swim on a beach, you have to make sure that you are in the company of skilled swimmers.”

He pointed out the importance for parents or guardians to remain vigilant, as their children may venture to pools or beaches unaccompanied. He also encouraged reading signage on do’s and don’ts in certain beaches and following restrictions if there are any.

The regional director also advised the parents and other people who go on swimming vacations to know the location of first-aid stations and police assistance desks.

Gen. Hidalgo stated that at least 1,500 PNP personnel are manning the police assistance desks in various parts of the region, particularly on roads and tourist destinations. Likewise, he ordered an increase in the deployment of personnel trained in Water Search and Rescue Teams (WASAR) among beaches and resorts to complement the deployment of lifeguards and ensure public safety.

The top cop of Central Luzon urges the public to observe precautions especially while traveling to various destinations. The safety tips were also given to travelers and tourists taking public transportation and visiting churches, beaches, and resorts.