The workshop took place in Playa Tamarindo on Nov 14-15 and was led by Shane Scoggings and James Bray (professional lifeguard instructors from California) and Gus Avila and Casey Graham (coaches for the US junior lifeguards competition team).
There are still no official lifeguard certifications recognized in Costa Rica. Many do not know this. Even in the most populated of beach towns, most of the rescues are executed successfully by surfers who happen to be in the right place at the right time.
Bomberos de Nosara, along with support from Swim Safe Costa Rica and ConnectOcean, have begun the process of nationally integrating themselves into a network of volunteer lifeguard associations all with the same mission at hand. Step by step they are leading towards creating the Federación Costarricense de Guardavidas. As Adriana Alfaro, Lifeguard Program Coordinator for Bomberos de Nosara, noted, the Federation will be the national platform to develop a much needed professional lifeguard curriculum in Costa Rica and develop a culture of water safety and prevention.
The second leading cause of accidental death in Costa Rica is drowning. Hopefully, with the efforts of our local Bomberos and volunteers, we will see a decline in tragic deaths on our beaches.