Update from Noah Sinclair:
Greg and I stopped by a beach on our way from San Jo to Dominical where We had heard of local surfers without any proper training or resources life guarding a two kilometer stretch of beach. The name of of the beach is Bejico, its located about 20-30min (drive) south of the popular surf beach Playa Hermosa.
We were greeted by an ExPat from southern California and 4 local Ticos. They had a killer lunch prepared for us, and we were welcomed with open arms. After a few minutes of talking story we quickly realized how in need these guys are and how passionate they were about lifesaving and serving their small community.
We went over some basic lifeguarding scenarios including CPR, rescue response, cervical injures, bleeding and communication (hand or buoy signals). We were humbled on how enthusiastic and appreciative they were.
On may 11, 2011 six visiting tourist went out on their beach for a swim and only three made it back to land alive. The guards are paid by the government here 3 months out of the year; yet guard the beach all 12. Before the guys started guarding the beach they said an average of 10-15 people would drown there every year! A completely preventable thing which makes it that more sad! After donating a few ISLA supply’s (buoy, board shorts, and pocket mask) to which they were grateful, we said our goodbyes. We are thankful for the hospitality and really hope to be back!
Upon our first day and first surf in Dominical I heard the unmistakable yells for help… I looked towards shore where the call for help was coming from and noticed two Ticos (local Costa Ricans) holding on to a beat up surfboard in the mid channel panicking and in obvious need of help to shore… To make a long story short I stabilized both victims with there board and mine and assisted them out of the rip and back to shore. By their reaction (and beers they bought me later), I can tell you they were more than grateful! Due to lack of funding the local Dominical lifeguards are off duty at 5pm ( sunset is around 530 and sees the most traffic in the beach). “Welcome to Dominical!” was my first thought.
Read more about ISLA’s involvement in Costa Rica.