Philippine Life Saving raised the first Red / Yellow Flags

October 23, 2011 marked the Official Launching of the Red / Yellow Flags in Zambales Philippines. Provincial Board Member Atty. Wilfredo D. Pangan Jr. honoured the 1st Surf Life Saving, Aquatic Search and Rescue Instructors Training Course as Guest Speaker during Opening Ceremony and officially raised the flags together with the Philippine Life Saving Bronze Medallion Awardees led by Larry Joie S. Alag, Secretary General of Philippine Life Saving, Murray Copas, Expert from Surf Life Saving Australia and Mr. Roger Bound, Philippine Life Saving Lifesaving Director for Zambales Operation. Also present in the raising of the flags are Atty. Jun Edaño, Ms. Tel Mora, Zambales Province Tourism Head, Janeth Soliven, Botolan Tourism Officer and Architect Quintin Sajorda of the Zambales Resort Owners Association (ZROA). Likewise, present during the raising of the Red and Yellow Flags are the Delegates to the 1st ever Surf Life Saving, Aquatic Search & Rescue Instructors Course in the Philippines.

In the same event, Red/Yellow as standard colours of Lifeguard Uniform was also launched in compliance with the international best practice by International Life Saving Federation (ILS) and the adoption of Recommendation No. 16 of the Philippine Drowning Prevention Plan 2010-15 which stated – that standardized uniform colours of Red and Yellow be worn by all Lifesavers and Lifeguards at aquatic locations to enable ease of recognition by the public. Recommendation No. 16 is a Drowning Prevention Initiative intended to enhance lifeguarding operation of various tourists destinations such as the resorts and hotels and is one of the 34 Recommendations presented by Philippine Drowning Prevention Council (PDPC), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Life Saving Society (Philippine Life Saving) during the inaugural Philippine Drowning Prevention Congress in Alabang, Muntinlupa City last 13-14 August 2011.

The 1st Surf Life Saving, Aquatic Search and Rescue Instructors Course was supported by Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and participated by fifteen (15) Philippine Life Saving Bronze Medallion Awardees selected from regions Luzon, Visayas & Mindanao, Five (5) from Philippine Merchant Academy (PMMA), Three (3) from the Naval Safety Officers of the Philippine Navy, and Eleven (11) Active Lifeguards and Surfing Instructors from the Zambales Resort Owners Association (ZROA).

Meaning of Red/Yellow Flag: A pair of Red/Yellow Flags should be spaced apart to designate the area between the two flags along any waterfront be it on a beach, surf, lakes, rivers or harbours as safe bathing zone, where swimming and/or body surfing is to be confined. The Zone is mostly supervised, patrolled and designated by qualified Lifesavers or Lifeguards. Where a lifeguard patrolled zone is not used, a single Red/ Yellow Flag may be used to indicate that a Lifeguard is on Duty. This should only be displayed at the Lifeguard Station, hut or Highchair. Flag shape is Square or Rectangular shorter side is at 750mm minimum, in Signal Red and Canary Yellow colour and is divided horizontally into two equal halves with red half at the top. In addition, the use of Red/Yellow Flags is compliant with Specifications Standard on Water Safety Signs and Beach Safety Flags under ISO-20712 of Geneva, Switzerland.