No lifeguard for nearly half of all public beaches
No lifeguard service can be provided in 18 out of 39 public beaches in Hong Kong on Sunday due to a manpower shortage, said Hong Kong and Kowloon Lifeguards Union vice-chairman Wu Kai-wing.
Speaking on a radio program on Monday, the vice-chairman said the city would require at least 1,200 lifeguards on long-term employment and 800 seasonal lifeguards in order for all public beaches to remain open.
He said the complicated certification system and the lack of promotion opportunities have deterred younger generations from joining the industry, coupled with the fact that lifeguards were also needed at private housing estates, causing the shortage in the public sector.
He called on the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to review its remuneration package for lifeguards, along with offering long-term employment contracts for seasonal lifeguards.
He also noted that the problem cannot be solved by the importation of foreign labor.