Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) what is the current number of licensed swimming pools in Singapore; (b) what is the number of swimming pools with lifeguards on duty; and (c) whether the Government will consider legislating the need for lifeguards on duty or for other on-premise officers to be trained in life-saving techniques.
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law:
- The National Environment Agency licenses about 2,700 swimming pools, ranging from pools in private residences and condominiums, to pools in clubs. Sport Singapore (SportSG) manages 27 ActiveSG pools, all of which deploy lifeguards.
- As part of the licensing requirements, all pools must be equipped with first-aid boxes and lifebuoys, and display illustrations of artificial resuscitation procedures all in conspicuous places, but there are no requirements for pools to be manned by lifeguards or trained on-site personnel.
- Water safety is a shared responsibility requiring a multi-stakeholder effort, which covers the areas of education, governance, research and surveillance. The deployment of lifeguards or trained on-site personnel comprises part of such a concerted approach in ensuring safety at pools. We encourage everyone to play their part to practise personal responsibility, and exercise supervision and vigilance at pools. On its part, SportSG works with the Ministry of Education to conduct the SwimSafer programme for all primary school students, which teaches students swimming, water survival and life-saving skills to react appropriately to various aquatic situations.