Mayor: Life­guard staffing ‘above best prac­tice’

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ge­or­gia Simp­son ge­or­gia.simp­son@whit­sun­day­

ALL ap­pro­pri­ate pro­to­cols re­gard­ing staffing were fol­lowed at Air­lie Beach La­goon on Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor An­drew Will­cox.

Cr Will­cox’s com­ments come af­ter the drown­ing deaths of a 30-year-old Chi­nese man and his five-year-old son about 4pm on Sun­day.

“The con­trac­tor Splash Pool Ser­vices, have all the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions. There were three life savers on duty ear­lier in the day, due to the vol­ume of peo­ple be­cause of the cruise ship,” he said.

“That dropped away later in the day, and less than 100 peo­ple were there at the time of the in­ci­dent.

“Two life­guards were on duty at the time of the in­ci­dent, which is above best prac­tice.”

Cr Will­cox said the events that tran­spired at the la­goon were a “tragedy”.

“It’s very dis­ap­point­ing and dis­tress­ing to read some of the false in­for­ma­tion, on so­cial me­dia,” he said.

“This is a tragic event for the Whit­sun­days, so peo­ple who are play­ing the blame game and throw­ing ridicu­lous com­ments out on so­cial me­dia, I don’t think that helps any­body.

“The trou­ble with drown­ing, is that it’s silent. When peo­ple slip un­der the wa­ter there is no noise.

“It’s just a tragic ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a fa­ther and son.

“It’s ex­tremely dis­tress­ing.

To peo­ple who were there and who were in­volved if you’re not cop­ing, we en­cour­age you to con­tact coun­cil who will put you in touch with sup­port ser­vices.”

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