The recent Baywatch
reboot had a lot of guys and girls fantasising about having a bunch of hot and hunky lifeguards come to our rescue when we face a life-threatening situation at the beach.
Then again, we don't exactly wish to be put in danger when all we want is some good fun in the sun, do we?
However, we can't say for sure that we have witnessed a lifeguard in action other than the occasional part-time ones we see at hotels or clubhouses, especially in Malaysia.
And that's where we were wrong.
have our own lifeguards under the Malaysia Civil Defence Force and get this, they are actually called Baywatch too!
According to Bernama
, the force's Baywatch team has 150 trained lifeguards who are stationed at 41 popular beaches across Malaysia.
In case you didn't notice, we have countless beautiful beaches around the country that attract both domestic and international visitors by the thousands all year round. So we definitely can't do without proper personnel to keep watch in case anything happens.
The team's name (obviously) came from the Baywatch
TV series that was popular throughout the 1990s.
And just like David Hesselhoff, Pamela Anderson and friends, our lifeguards are in charge of patrolling the beaches and monitoring the sea from the lookout towers, with four on duty at each tower at all times.
The squad is also on standby with jet skis, boats, all-terrain vehicles and other rescue equipment, ready to jump into action at the first sign of danger.
Port Dickson district Civil Defence assistant Lt Mohd Yaakob Md Asri told Bernama that the lifeguards would alert the people if the weather turns bad and waves get rough. In this situation, a red flag will be flying from the Baywatch tower, while a white flag indicates that the sea condition is safe.
Last year, 514 cases were reportedly handled by the Civil Defence Force's Baywatch teams nationwide. Some of the most common incidences were drownings, near drownings, jellyfish stings and other minor injuries. So they didn't exactly tackle crime-related activities like you saw in the TV series or movie.
Nevertheless, Baywatch is on standby for anything that can go wrong from 9am to 7pm every day. As for beaches at Bagan Lalang, Selangor, and Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, the teams operate 24/7.
So the next time you see any Malaysian Baywatch lifeguard on duty, take their warnings seriously and don't get too carried away at the beach.