Since 2003 the Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service has been leading an international aid project to equip and train lifeguards in Karachi (population 22 million) to combat the exceedingly high drowning toll. As a result of our efforts PALS (Pakistani Aquatic Life Saving) is a successful charity operating across several beaches in Karachi City and also in many outlying villages. www.pals.pk
Today thanks to our training and equipment donations more than 120 lifeguards patrol up to 17 beaches at any one time, on a year-round basis. More than 3000 lives have been saved since 2004 when patrols commenced, and the drowning toll across the patrolled beaches has plummeted from in excess of 250 each year , to near zero.
Karachi''s city fathers insist the lifeguard service be expanded but this requires more equipment and more complex patrol management systems. It is also time to introduce the most modern lifeguarding and resuscitation practices.
Four leading Muriwai lifeguards are donating their time to travel to Karachi in April 2016 for two weeks to deliver expert training. Used life saving equipment in good condition is being sourced from surf clubs around the country - some donated, some at residual cost - to ship to Karachi to supplement the small amount of equipment already there.
Six senior Pakistani lifeguards will visit NZ in January 2017 and work alongside their NZ colleagues at several beaches to experience first hand how things are done here.
NZ$44,000 is required to fully deliver the 2016 project, of which $10,000 is airfares, insurances and associated costs. The balance is to buy resuscitation equipment, personal safety gear for the lifeguards, 3 aditional (used) inflatable rescue boats and other resources to enable the expansion of PALS services.
Muriwai lifeguards have cumulatively donated more than 100 days to work on Karachi beaches since 2004, and an equivalent number of days here in NZ administering the project remotely. Our 2016 project will see a further donated 56 days in-country.