Summer Without Bitterness

Rosa Martinez

Cooling off in the Bayamo River.  Photo: Ihosvanny
Cooling off in the Bayamo River. Photo: Ihosvanny

HAVANA TIMES – My neighbor has told me about a man who died here right at the outset of summer. He drowned at a beach on the south coast of Guantanamo province.

It happened when summer had barely begun; several bathers spread the alarm that an unconscious man had been pulled from the water. Personnel from Emergency Services arrived quickly at the scene, where they established that the affected man was in cardio-respiratory arrest. They attempted CPR with no success.

Events such as this are repeated year after year in this season, especially in this province which has more than 500 rivers and streams, plus the coastlines. It’s the duty of every Cuban family to do everything possible to avoid them.

They say that no accident is so accidental or so inevitable, especially when it involves children; for this reason it’s so necessary that adults maintain a strict vigilance over their children and other family members. It only takes a few seconds for someone to drown.

Being a swimmer doesn’t mean letting down the guard. A child or adult can become easily tired, or be over-confident and – upon reaching a site where they’re over their heads- become frightened.

Although a life guard is your best friend in these situations, it’s not their job to control anybody’s behavior. We should remember that their mission is rescue and revival in case of emergency, something we shouldn’t need.

We can’t allow the care of the little ones to rest in the hands or other children, even though they’re older. It’s up to us to end the day happily, in their company, and not to just watch them from a distance.

Take good care if alcohol is consumed, because people become more daring. And let’s not even imagine a situation where this causes someone to leave a minor by themselves on a raft or at the water’s edge.

Perhaps, these aren’t the only precautions, but they constitute behaviors to follow, so that the combination of summer, vacations, rivers, beaches and pools don’t end up leaving a bitter taste in our lives.

One thought on “Summer Without Bitterness

  • Given the increase in shark attacks at beaches in Florida, North and South Carolina, are such attacks a problem in Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba Provinces? I remember taking a short, impromptu swim at a beach between Chivirico and Uvero when our passenger truck made a stop for repairs. We were frantically called out of the water by locals who said the waters were dangerous due to sharks.

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