Life in Croatia as a coastguard in Split.
Overlooking Bačvice beach, looking towards the open sea, that is how 21-year-old Barbara Gilić, a member of Lifeguard Services of the Croatian Red Cross in Split, spends her summer mornings. She is one of the six rescuers who are on duty every day on the most popular Split beach.
This is the first year that this kinesiology student works as a lifeguard during the summer. “We work in two shifts, from 9 am to 6.30 pm. Everything is fine, we are well-trained and react quickly in case of emergency. Although it seems that we have a lot of work at the Bačvice beach, actually that is not the case. Our biggest problems are pieces of glass, so we usually deals with injuries, cuts and lacerations”, said Gilić.
“A lot of foreigners and locals come here, there are a lot of bars that work late at night, and people leave glasses all over the place. During the Ultra Music Festival, we have many injuries and lacerations to attend to. Fortunately, there weren’t any major injuries. When we have some more serious injury, like shoulder dislocation, we mobilize the injured person and call an ambulance”, said Gilić, who is also a climber at Marulianus Climbing Club and a winner of the Rector’s Student Award for the last year.
Like her colleagues at other beaches in Split, Barbara has passed a lifeguard course, which consists of three parts – rescue operations, first aid and environmental protection. For her, it is not difficult to work in the heat, but she is amazed that people do not heed the advice of doctors and decide to come to the beach when the temperatures are at their highest.
“The greatest number of people is between 10 am and 5 pm. They lie in the sun, even though the temperature is 38 degrees. We warn them, even wake up some of them, and sometimes we have to pour water on their faces because they get sick. In the morning when I come to work, the beach is already full of tourists with cocktails in their hands. There are so many of them that you cannot find a place to put down your towel”, said Barbara.
During the last season, in Split-Dalmatia County lifeguards intervened 125 times, mostly due to injuries and bleedings. The number of lifeguards increases every year. There are about 40 of them just in Split. “After they finish the course, lifeguards receive a license that must be renewed every two years. Last year, we had a 55-year-old former athlete who managed to get the license”, said Tanja Marinković, regional Red Cross coordinator for Dalmatia.
Source Slobodna Dalmacija