At Blueguard Middle East, and in line with water safety month, we would like to take the time to pause and acknowledge the realities of drowning. We would also like to reflect on where we are as a business, compared to when our journey began five years ago in Dubai.
According to the Royal Life Saving Society, every year on average 402 UK and Irish citizens lose their lives in a water-related incident. Most of the incidents are completely avoidable. Did you know that 43% of people would jump into the water to save somebody? A completely natural instinct, but an instinct that without the correct knowledge and training is often risky and life-threatening. The World Health Organization has declared drowning to be a global public health issue, with millions of people around the world drowning every year.
The Khaleej Times has over several years reported numerous drowning tragedies within the United Arab Emirates. In September 2022 an 18-month-old Emirati toddler drowned in her family swimming pool; less than a month later a four-year-old and his nanny drowned in a hotel swimming pool. According to the YMCA, 88% of children who drown are under adult supervision; 23% of child-drowning incidents occur during family gatherings near a pool; 60% of children who drown are within 10 feet or less of safety. The central factors contributing to these global drowning statistics are a lack of water safety education, inadequate supervision, limited access to swimming lessons, and insufficient water rescue and response systems. It is important to remember that behind every statistic is a family tragedy.
Blueguard Middle East was established in 2017 in Dubai out of a deep passion for the ocean and a strong desire to keep people safe. At that time our core focus was on water safety training for lifeguards, and first aid training for employees in the workplace. To date, we have trained over 3000+ lifeguards and over 4,500+ first aiders. Our focus is heavily on first aid training. This is because if a drowning incident or cardiac arrest were to take place, early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) can significantly increase an individual’s chances of survival: survival rates as high as 75% have been reported when properly trained first aiders are involved. Over time, as our business has expanded, we have customized our first aid training for nannies, new parents, schools, gyms and corporate offices.
Due to our innovative nature, Blueguard Middle East has become the exclusive distributor in The MENA Region for SENTAG – wearable drowning detection technology, made in Sweden. Wristbands with sensors are worn by swimmers at all times and if an individual was to go under water for a longer period than the programmed depth or time, sensitive receivers in the swimming pool will raise an alarm to notify that a drowning is taking place. SENTAG technology is the perfect solution for residential buildings with swimming pools, private villas with swimming pools, hotels and beachfronts. SENTAG is the first of its kind and is in a league of its own, when comparing its efficiency and quality to other drowning detection wearables.
It is important to note that SENTAG is not meant to replace lifeguards. Its purpose is to provide an extra layer of protection for public or private venues who do not wish to take chances regarding safety. We believe that drowning detection technology is the future of water safety.
Examples of our clients are:
- Lifeguard training: Facility management companies: Emrill Services LLC
- Lifeguard training: Security & Manpower companies: Arkan Security
- Lifeguard training: Hotels:
- The Royal Meridien.
- Meridien Mina Seyahi.
- The Fairmont.
- Al Maha Luxury Resort
- First Aid Training (employees in the workplace): Corporate Companies:
- Imperial Tobacco.
- Al Tamimi & Company.
- Huda Beauty.
- Dubai Petroleum.
- First Aid Training (teachers): Schools:
- North London Collegiate School.
- JESS Arabian Ranches.
- JESS Jumeirah.
- The Arbor School.
- Sunmarke School.
- Safa Community School.
- Aldar Academies.
If you fall into one of the categories below please get in touch with Blueguard Middle East as we can help you reduce the risk of drowning of those around you:
- Property developers with new developments being built (in the initial stages).
- Private homes with swimming pools.
- Residential communities with swimming pools.
- Residential buildings with swimming pools.
- Hotels (pool and beach).
- The government (beachfront).