Gambia Red Cross launches sea rescue project
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) in observance of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on Monday 8th May 2023 launched a sea rescue project in partnership with the Spanish Red Cross Delegation in The Gambia and the Gambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Martin Lopez, the Head of the Spanish Red Cross Delegation said drowning is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. He added that they believe the project will prevent tragic accidents and help swimmers enjoy the water safely.
He went on to say that the project will not only protect lives but also promote health, tourism and local development.
He commended GRCS for their commitment towards saving lives and serving humanity.
He said they will support GRCS during the pilot phase of the project with training, equipment and technical assistance to launch an operating service successfully.
Alasan Senghore, the Secretary General of the Gambia Red Cross Society said no amount of money can pay someone who takes the risk to go in the sea and rescueanother. He therefore thanked their volunteers for their sacrifices, saying everything they do comes from the heart.
He also thanked all their collaborators, stakeholders and partners for their support.
SG Senghore added that they offer services without discrimination but prioritise based on needs. He further said that they do not also wait for humanitarian crises to respond but support and work with government and other stakeholders in dealing with development challenges to ensure they improve lives and livelohoods of people.
He highlighted that the world has transformed and it is having negative impact on all of us but noted that with all that they continue to serve humanity.
He stated that they have the capacity to mobilise within the first 24 hours when a disaster strikesusing resources including cash, material resources, equipment and human resources to redeploy, noting that they will continue to exploit that for the benefit of the country.
He called on other partners to support the project, saying “if we work together as Gambians others will bring other support and ensure we save lives.”
Alagie Jarju, the Executive Director of the National Youth Council called onthe need for communities along the coast to have teams trained on how to rescue people. He urged volunteers to continue to serve, saying they represent hope.
Mamud Saine, a representative of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture said they understand most children who drown at the sea go to places of high risk and where there is no security/lifequards. He expressed their readiness to work closely with the Gambia Red Cross Society in ensuring the success of the project.