Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Lifeguards worked at only 18 of Hong Kong’s 42 beaches over weekend

Lifeguards worked at only 18 of Hong Kong’s 42 beaches over weekend

Of city’s 42 public beaches 21 remained open without lifeguards and three have been temporarily closed.

Only 18 of Hong Kong’s 42 public beaches had lifeguards on duty last weekend because of a severe labour shortage, a union has said, with swimmers potentially at risk as most locations remain open.

Unattractive salaries and keen competition from private housing complexes caused the lack of manpower, lifeguard union representatives said. They urged authorities to become more competitive in attracting staff.

In response to Post inquiries, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said seasonal lifeguards were still being recruited. The department expected services at the remaining beaches to “gradually” return.

Among the 18 locations with life-saving services, 13 were in the New Territories, while five were on Hong Kong Island, including Repulse Bay and Stanley beaches.

Three beaches have been closed because of a shortage of lifeguards.

The other 21 beaches remained open without lifeguards, with the department advising residents not to swim if nobody is on duty.

Three beaches – Hair Pin, Shek O Back (Rocky Bay) and Gemini – have been temporarily closed.

The absence of services was because of a severe labour shortage, said Nick Wu Kai-wing, a Hong Kong and Kowloon Life Guard’s Union spokesman.

He said in addition to about 1,200 permanent staff, the government needed some 800 seasonal workers to maintain services each year, but Wu estimated fewer than 200 of them were currently on the roster.

Comparatively, authorities were “about 500 to 600 people short in seasonal staff” last year but still managed to open 20 beaches.

Wu said many of the lifeguards had chosen to work in private clubhouses in luxury housing estates which offered as much as HK$120 ($15) per hour.

“Some of these lifeguards work 15-hour shifts, meaning they can earn more than HK$35,000 a month,” he said.

By comparison, public lifeguards are categorised as artisans within the civil service hierarchy, with a starting salary of HK$17,675 per month and a maximum of $24,070, according to the government pay scale.

“Youngsters hoping to join the industry should be able to see good prospects and a pay scale that makes sense,” Wu added, pointing out that entry-level staffers make even less than seasonal lifeguards, who are offered at least HK$20,800 per month.

The spokesman also said qualifications and tests should be done internally, instead of being “outsourced” to The Hong Kong Life Saving Society. Currently, applicants must obtain a bronze medallion and pay to complete a two-month course for a Pool or Beach Lifeguard Award – to be renewed every three years.

The department said several measures had been implemented to attract or retain seasonal staff, including raising the salary cap this year to HK$24,500 per month and offering contract gratuities for returning or long-serving workers.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.