People going to Manzanilla to bathe will be doing so at their own risk as all nine lifeguards posted there have been transferred to beaches in the North Coast—Toco, Salibia and Matura.
Their transfers are because of repair work to be undertaken at the Manzanilla Resort.
Lifeguards stationed at Manzanilla expressed frustration after receiving their letters of transfer effective yesterday.
Lifeguard Alvin Persad, who spoke on behalf of the nine lifeguards at Manzanilla, told Guardian Media that there were no notices from the Ministry of Tourism that the Manzanilla Beach Resort would be officially closed.
He said the move would mean more money being spent on travelling expenses.
“All lifeguards have a family and children to send to school. Using our little money to travel means less for groceries, sending children to school and paying our bills,” he said.
He noted that thousands of people journeyed to Manzanilla beach on weekends and said removing the lifeguards will increase the danger for bathers.
Red flags, he noted, will no longer be planted because of the lifeguards’ absence.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla, Dr Rai Ragbir, under whose constituency the Manzanilla beach falls visited the affected lifeguards and said he saw no reason for the lifeguards’ transfer as work will only be done on the resort and occupies a small part of the seafront.
Dr Ragbir promised to raise the issue with the Minister of Tourism Randall Mitchell to have the problem ironed out.
Minister Mitchell has said the Manzanilla Beach resort is positioned in the direction of the sea blast and that costs are extremely high to maintain.
He said the facility has suffered damage that needs to be repaired.
“We understand that there are roof works and other problems to be done for beach security and we have therefore closed the facility for security,” he added.
He said very shortly they will request tenders for the work with the aim of having the facility reopened in the shortest possible timeframe.
—With reporting by