By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Sierra Leone Life Saving Society, in collaboration with Sierra Leone institution of life-saving paramedic, and emergency management & Centre for sustainable Blue economy development will hosts their first ever virtual conference on recreational boating safety on context of SAR (Search & Recue) Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The Sierra Leone Life Saving Society was established in 2017 in Sierra Leone, the Society aim to promote the dissemination of lifesaving, lifeguarding, drowning prevention, water safety and lifesaving sport in Sierra Leone.
The virtual conference was to discuss on recreational boating safety, and how the operation can support the Search and Rescue activities to TMAS engagement in which whenever occurrence of unfortunate incident with the marine environment in Sierra Leone.
The Chief Executive Director of Sierra Lone Life Saving Society, Patrick Olumide Campbell, in an interview with him on the conference, stated that the empowerment of the recreational boat operators will aid and improve SAR activities in all marine environments on how to tackle emergency incidents.
He said awareness of perpetrators of illegal activities such as bottom trawling operators and IUU violators will be easily report through marine communication system wherein a notable knowledge is transfer through training, workshop and seminars that when such incidents are perceive a certain communication should be effectively established.
“Sierra Leone as a nation had witness such huge numbers of lives and properties lost through drowning and inability of SAR team do actively attack matters as it occur while unregulated and destructive fishing has cost the nation huge sum of millions of dollars that would have been used to improve the nation wealth reserve.” He explained
He said due to lack of proper training on communication criminals are making the territorial water in Sierra Leone, unsafe because they used the medium as source to transfer illicit drugs into Sierra Leone that turn young people to drug addict and other vices in the Society.
He added that in the context of Sierra Leone as a case study international partners need to support government institution and organizations on programs that aid effective outcome of recreational boating safety.
He further states that Sierra Leone Life Saving Society as institution that focus on safety issues had organizer series of training, workshop and seminars to the Sierra Leone Government institutions and international organization such as European Delegation in Sierra Leone on First Responder Basic Skills, Conference on Drowning Prevention, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Training of Lifeguards and Harbor Masters in Sierra Leone.
He continued that the Society have involved volunteers young people ranging from local mariners, lifeguards, harbor masters, nurses and other professional such as medical doctors, marine experts and legal practitioners to get trained in and out Sierra Leone gained skills that would be needed in terms of safety matters.
He said the Sierra Leone Life Saving Society faces series of challenges in effort to perform or get our obligations fulfilled in Sierra Leone, Funding, Technical and professional training for the Society personnel, Government inability to support adequately legislature that would strengthen recreational boating safety in Sierra Leone, Lack of adequate equipment to support both training and operation, and lack of Support on the Institute of Lifesaving infrastructure
He said the Society get it funding from one source that Sirius Microfinance SL. Limited owned by an individual to organize training, seminars and workshop and attend international training and meetings depend on the income of the sponsor.
He concluded that the Sierra Leone Life Saving Society wanted to improve their institutional capacity on recreational boating safety in Sierra Leone for the resultant dividends would deliver to our marine environment the protection and security needed that would curb destructive fishing, prevent loss of lives and properties, provide safe marine environment, protect the interest of the international communities on maritime security and improve our SAR ability in Sierra Leone territorial waters and beyond.