Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation Donates to American Red Cross

Vasili Pleqi
What is your name?
Vasili Pleqi

What is your agency/organization?
American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps (ARCVLSC) ~ Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

How long have you been with Jacksonville Beach?
I have been the the ARCVLSC for 3 years.

What is your agency’s mission & How do you prevent drowning and promote water safety?
To maintain a group of individuals thoroughly trained in life saving and first aid, who are expected to respond promptly in any emergency requiring such service, regardless of time or place.

ARCVLSC prevents drowning by:

  • Teaching swimming and life saving.
  • Holding swimming and life saving exhibitions.
  • Promoting swimming and life saving competitions.
  • Giving instruction in the approved method or methods of performing artificial respiration.
  • Posting volunteer guard(s) where possible and advisable.
  • Placing buoys and other life saving equipment where needed.

How will the rescue board help ARCVLSC in your mission?
The rescue board will serve as a rescue equipment on the beach and special events such as triathlon, swimming and SUP/board races etc. It will also be used to train current and future lifeguards in our Jr. Guard Program and Recruit Class. The board will also be used for competition by the South Atlantic Region 2014 Defending Champions; Jacksonville Beach.

How did you find about that H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco was going to donate rescue boards to you?
It was very exciting news for me that I was able to accomplish something for this organization when Henry (ISLA President) sent me a text message that he has a rescue board that our organization could use.

American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps

What is the best thing about the rescue board?
Its unique shape,stability and light weight. it is very easy to maneuver compared to a traditional yellow paddle board, and the straps are thin causing little to no chaffing on the rescuer’s thighs.

What does drowning prevention mean to you?
Drowning Prevention means a lot to me because it is totally preventable. There is no reason for people to drown in the 21st century, with all these high tech rescue equipment, pool fencing models, and especially public education through social media advertisement.

How do you prevent drowning?
To me Public Education is the foundation to drowning prevention. Explaining to a family where the rip current is, and how to escape can go a long way when they drive back home and tell their neighbors, friends and extended family what they learned today. Another way is through Social Media everyone checks their account at least once an hour, think of how much impact it would make world wide.

What would you like to say to H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco?
On Behalf of the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps, I really appreciate everything you do to promote drowning, and support lifesaving organizations with rescue equipment. We are very grateful for the donation of this Rescue Paddleboard. We would like to invite you to our National Historic Lifesaving Saving Station that is rich in its 104 years of history.