Community, Santa Cruz

Red Cross Transfers Specialized Personnel and Lifeguards from Tamarindo to Handle Floods in Santa Cruz

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Translator: Arianna Hernández

The three lifeguards who work on Tamarindo beach left the lifeguard tower today to collaborate with the Red Cross in dealing with the floods in the last few hours in Guanacaste.

They are accompanied by two officials from the Red Cross’ Specialized First Response Unit (UEPI), which travels to big emergencies in the country.

“It’s a profile that handles mountains, air, events in open waters or fast waters. It’s a very specialized staff,” explained the coordinator of lifeguard agreements, Elieth Moraga.

The rescue workers are civil servants paid by the Red Cross and the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). They provide their services in Tamarindo through an agreement with the community’s integral development association.

This is the only beach in Guanacaste where Red Cross lifeguards work, but other beaches in the country such as Manuel Antonio, Cocles, Bahía Ballena, Ventanas and Manzanillo have them.

The agreement stipulates that they help with Red Cross emergencies in case the institution requires support, such as with the floods in the province during recent hours.

We have seen the increase in rainfall and hardly anyone is visiting [the beach]. Yesterday only six people went [to the beach], according to the daily monitoring we carry out,” Moraga explained.

According to Moraga, the lifeguards of Tamarindo have training in “rapid waters,” which are the kind formed by the floods that have occurred during recent hours, and that is what makes them suitable to collaborate with current operations.

“Rapid waters are bodies of water that can change their condition very quickly. A little water might be flowing now, but it may increase due to ground saturation, because a river overflowed or due to headwaters,” the coordinator explained.

Should We Go to the Beach?

In coordination with ADIT, the Red Cross warned that lifeguards would not be on duty today in Tamarindo, so the association asks swimmers and other visitors to increase prevention if they go to the beach.

The Red Cross official also recommended staying informed about rip tides and weather conditions, due to the possibility of rivers overflowing that could happen near the sea.

Lifeguards might just be away from the beach today.

If this is extended tomorrow, we are going to transfer lifeguards but from the central part, which are those who work in the national coordination of lifeguards, and they would go to cover things,” she added.

According to the National Emergency Commission (CNE), Santa Cruz, Carrillo and La Cruz have grouped 384 people in eight shelters: six in Santa Cruz, one in La Cruz and one in Carrillo. The institution warns that the rains will continue during the afternoon and early evening hours and that the orange alert continues in the country’s Pacific region and the North Zone.