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Pakistan Life Saving Foundation

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Pakistan Life Saving Foundation (PALS)
Established2004
FounderReza Samad
HeadquartersKarachi, Pakistan
Location
  • Karachi, Pakistan
ServicesBeach Rescues, Drowning Prevention, Water Safety
Staff
+250 Lifeguards
Websitewww.pals.pk

Pakistan Life Saving Foundation (also called PALS Rescue or PALS) is a registered Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Pakistan. This internationally accredited NGO was established in 2004 for the purpose of providing life-saving services along the beaches of Karachi (Pakistan). It is the country's only privately run (free public service), near-shore drowning prevention and rescue body. It employs around 250 trained lifeguards that belong to the neighboring coastal fishing communities.[1]

History

Karachi's coastline stretches around 40 kilometres (25 miles), covering beaches that include Clifton (Seaview), Sandspit, Hawkes Bay, French Beach, Kanupp Point, Paradise Point, Ras Muari (Cape Monze), Sunehri and Mubarak Village. The Arabian sea which meets Pakistan coastline of Karachi and Balochistan, is extremely rough during the monsoon season which starts from mid-May to mid-August. This is also the time which draws the largest number of beach visitors during the year.[2] Before PALS Rescue inception, there were only 30 designated lifeguards for the Karachi's 27 kilometre (17-mile) long beaches with 18 to 20 active lifeguards at any given day.[3]

Karachi beaches are hazardous because of undeveloped topography. The beach surface is not leveled and modified to minimize hazards. The strong currents have no hindrance due to absence of coral reefs that usually break these currents. Some of the beaches along the coastline have “dumping’ waves”[4] that occur in seemingly calm and low tide sea but hit the beach with strong force. There are also some beaches along the coastlines that have sudden dips and slippery surfaces.[5] The sea is most dangerous in the monsoon season which coincides with summer vacations for schools. It is the time when Karachi beaches see major footfall. The beach goers are mostly unaware of water safety and do not have swimming skills.[6] The lack of water safety knowledge and scarcity of lifeguards resulted in large number of drowning cases yearly. Eventually in 2004, PALS Rescue was formed as an NGO registered under the Directorate of Social Welfare, Government of Sindh (Pakistan).

Initially PALS worked towards forming a comprehensive lifesaving setup along the most visited beaches of Karachi, Pakistan. PALS approached the established Life Saving Institutions around the world for guidance, support and assistance. Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Northern Region (SLSNR), offered to help PALS in set up a surf lifesaving establishment along the beaches of Karachi. In 2003, SLSNR sent an 8 member delegation/team to train PALS’ lifeguards. In addition to training, they also donated essential lifesaving equipment. The SLSNR trained 175 lifeguards including Pakistan Navy and City Government Divers.[7] At the end of the 2 week intensive training period, 64 life guards were issued SLSNR Awards and 41 were issued Certificates. In 2005, PALS became an independently established surf lifesaving service.

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Clifton Beach, Karachi

Clifton Beach, Karachi

Clifton Beach, also known as Sea View, is a beach in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan and is located on the Arabian Sea. It stretches from Karachi to Ormara (Balochistan). The beach is very popular in Pakistan. It is open 24/7 for the general public.

Hawke's Bay Beach

Hawke's Bay Beach

Hawke's Bay or Hawkesbay is a beach in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, located 20 km southwest of Karachi city. The beach is named after Bladen Wilmer Hawke, who owned a house on the beach during the 1930s. The beach is very popular, with hundreds of people visiting daily for swimming, camel and horse riding, and vacations.

French Beach, Karachi

French Beach, Karachi

French Beach of Karachi is located half way between Hawkes Bay and Paradise Point, is a small fishing village frequented by Karachi's elite class and known to the locals as Haji Ismill Goth.

Karachi Nuclear Power Complex

Karachi Nuclear Power Complex

The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant is a large commercial nuclear power plant located at the Paradise Point in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

Paradise Point, Pakistan

Paradise Point, Pakistan

Paradise Point, on the Arabian Sea, is a beach in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Paradise Point is a sandstone rock promontory which once had a natural arch.

Ras Muari

Ras Muari

Ras Muari, often referred to as Cape Monze, is a beach located off the shore of the Arabian Sea in Karachi. It stretches from the village of Mubarak to Yousuf Goth (Pacha) in West Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

Mubarak Goth

Mubarak Goth

Mubarak Goth or Mubarak Village is a fishing village in Kiamari Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is located along the shore of Arabian Sea in District West of Karachi.

Arabian Sea

Arabian Sea

The Arabian Sea is a region of the northern Indian Ocean bounded on the north by Pakistan, Iran and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by the Gulf of Aden, Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Peninsula, on the southeast by the Laccadive Sea and the Maldives, on the southwest by Somalia, and on the east by India. Its total area is 3,862,000 km2 (1,491,000 sq mi) and its maximum depth is 4,652 meters (15,262 ft). The Gulf of Aden in the west connects the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea through the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, and the Gulf of Oman is in the northwest, connecting it to the Persian Gulf.

Balochistan, Pakistan

Balochistan, Pakistan

Balochistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the southwestern region of the country, Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan by land area but is the least populated one. It shares land borders with the Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to the north-east and Sindh to the south-east. It shares International borders with Iran to the west and Afghanistan to the north; It is also bound by the Arabian Sea to the south. Balochistan is an extensive plateau of rough terrain divided into basins by ranges of sufficient heights and ruggedness. It has the world's largest deep sea port, The Port of Gwadar lying in the Arabian Sea.

Monsoon of South Asia

Monsoon of South Asia

The Monsoon of South Asia is among several geographically distributed global monsoons. It affects the Indian subcontinent, where it is one of the oldest and most anticipated weather phenomena and an economically important pattern every year from June through September, but it is only partly understood and notoriously difficult to predict. Several theories have been proposed to explain the origin, process, strength, variability, distribution, and general vagaries of the monsoon, but understanding and predictability are still evolving.

Coral reef

Coral reef

A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.

Monsoon

Monsoon

A monsoon is traditionally a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with annual latitudinal oscillation of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) between its limits to the north and south of the equator. Usually, the term monsoon is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase. The term is also sometimes used to describe locally heavy but short-term rains.

International Affiliations

PALS Rescue is an internationally accredited life guarding establishment, representing Pakistan in the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) as a Full Member. It is also closely associated with Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and holds a membership at the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS). SLSNZ delegations usually visit PALS on a yearly basis.

Local Affiliations and Support

PALS Rescue is operating with support and collaboration of the following local agencies:

Patrol Statistics

PALS Lifeguards cautioning people against rough waves on Sandspit Beach, Karachi
PALS Lifeguards cautioning people against rough waves on Sandspit Beach, Karachi

Before 2004, there used to be on average 250+ cases of drowning annually on Karachi beaches. PALS Rescue has been able to contain this drowning rate to ‘near zero’ to date. According to the PALS Rescue available data, they have saved almost 5,500 people from drowning along Karachi's beaches.[8] They also conducted over 7,000,000 preventive actions providing advice, guidance or direction to people that mitigated against the risk of drowning. It has provided first-aid to over 6,000 people.[9] Its presence along Karachi's beaches has provided protection to over 8 million beach visitors every year. In 2019, PALS lifeguards saved 176 people from drowning in the monsoon season.

Safe Canal Project

PALS Rescue initiated the ‘Safe Canal Project’ that will encompassed four of Khairpur's villages. The pilot project was inaugurated in 2019 by Dr. Nafisa Shah who is a Member of the National Assembly (MNA).[10] Under this project, Khairpur's villagers were provided with safety equipment to safeguard themselves, especially women and children against accidents which had earlier been prevalent along canal banks.[10]

This pilot project which is part of an planned, large scale development, connects a buoying net across the width of the canal with supporting poles. Life Jackets are placed along each side. Anyone going close to the canal is required to wear these jackets which safeguards them against drowning and the net will not allow a person to get swept away by the water.[10]

PALS Outdoors

PALS Outdoors is the commercial wing of PALS Rescue. It was established in 2010 and focuses on providing recreational activities and adventure tours to various locations in Pakistan ( focusing mainly in Karachi and Balochistan areas). PALS Outdoors established a first ever adventure and eco-tourism beach site with the funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The site includes luxury tent accommodations along with activities like water sports, boating, kayaking, fishing, mangrove explorations, bird watching and swimming with dolphins.[11]

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Ecotourism

Ecotourism

Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving responsible travel to natural areas, conserving the environment, and improving the well-being of the local people. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights. Since the 1980s, ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention. Ecotourism may focus on educating travelers on local environments and natural surroundings with an eye to ecological conservation. Some include in the definition of ecotourism the effort to produce economic opportunities that make conservation of natural resources financially possible.

United States Agency for International Development

United States Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. With a budget of over $27 billion, USAID is one of the largest official aid agencies in the world and accounts for more than half of all U.S. foreign assistance—the highest in the world in absolute dollar terms.

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving over water. It is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is a low-to-the-water, canoe-like boat in which the paddler sits facing forward, legs in front, using a double-bladed paddle to pull front-to-back on one side and then the other in rotation. Most kayaks have closed decks, although sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity as well.

Fishing

Fishing

Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are often caught as wildlife from the natural environment, but may also be caught from stocked bodies of water such as ponds, canals, park wetlands and reservoirs. Fishing techniques include hand-gathering, spearing, netting, angling, shooting and trapping, as well as more destructive and often illegal techniques such as electrocution, blasting and poisoning.

Mangrove

Mangrove

A mangrove is a shrub or tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves are taxonomically diverse, as a result of convergent evolution in several plant families. They occur worldwide in the tropics and subtropics and even some temperate coastal areas, mainly between latitudes 30° N and 30° S, with the greatest mangrove area within 5° of the equator. Mangrove plant families first appeared during the Late Cretaceous to Paleocene epochs, and became widely distributed in part due to the movement of tectonic plates. The oldest known fossils of mangrove palm date to 75 million years ago.

Swimming with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins

The popularity of swimming with dolphins increased in the 1980s and 1990s, occurring in over 65 countries, both as a form of therapy as well as a tourist activity. Proponents of dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) say that interacting with dolphins can help to treat mental and physical disorders in humans, but there is limited clinical evidence proving its benefits. Marine parks and other tourist destinations offering "swim-with-dolphin" experiences have also promoted the purported healing attributes of dolphins. Opponents argue that interactions between humans and dolphins have had a negative impact on dolphin populations both in the wild and in captivity, and that the practice can be dangerous for humans. Concerns over animal welfare have led to bans on swimming with dolphins in Costa Rica, as well as certain locations in New Zealand and Hawaii.

Source: "Pakistan Life Saving Foundation", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 29th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_Life_Saving_Foundation.

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References
  1. ^ "PALS Rescue initiates Safe Canal Project in Khairpur". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  2. ^ Moeen, Heba (2019-05-05). "SOCIETY: LIFE AND DEATH ON KARACHI'S BEACHES". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  3. ^ Latif, Aamir (September 17, 2017). "Pakistan: Drowning incidents taint Karachi city beaches". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved June 9, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Society, Outdoor Swimming (2017-02-03). "Understanding Waves". Outdoor Swimming Society. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  5. ^ Jahangir, Ramsha (2017-10-24). "What makes Karachi's beaches so dangerous". Herald Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  6. ^ Caleb, Gloria (2007-07-10). "KARACHI: Beach-goers reject safety advice". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  7. ^ "Pakistan Life Saving Foundation – International Life Saving Federation". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  8. ^ "PALS Rescue saves 176 from drowning during monsoon season – Business Recorder". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  9. ^ "Pakistan Life Saving". Royal Life Saving Society. 2015-11-13. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  10. ^ a b c "PALS RESCUE initiates Safe Canal Project in Khairpur". The Biz Update. 2019-08-27. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  11. ^ "About Pals Outdoors trips in Karachi, Baluchistan and Pakistan". PALS Outdoors. 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2020-06-09.

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