Over the last four years, the Lifeguards of Costa Ballena have performed 240 in-water rescues, administered first aid 100 times and prevented thousands of incidents along the southern beaches of Dominical, Hermosa, Uvita and Ventanas. Today they desperately need a save of their own.
Due to a contract snafu with the Municipality of Osa, public funding for lifeguard salaries were suspended last April. Since then, the Southern Lifeguard Association has exhausted all of its reserves, covering the Municipality’s 50 percent portion of salaries, equipment and training.
There is no good time to lose lifeguards. Winter weather patterns cause strong rip currents and dangerous conditions. While seasonal rain helps reduce the number of visitors to the beach, tourism does not stop and high season is quickly approaching.
A one-year contract starting January 1 has already been vetted and awaits final approval by the Municipal council. Unfortunately, partial contracts are not permitted leaving the Association to solve the entire funding gap until the new year.