This year, the S in summer will also stand for safety thanks to a new initiative launched by the Pelican Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island. After two years of navigating life in a pandemic, Bahamians across the country are preparing to indulge in the abundance of sun, sand, and sea. The management at Grand Bahama Island’s happiest hotel has set out to make sure that visits to the beach and to the pool are a little safer for staff members and their children.
“Children of our employees haven't had the best year during Covid due to lockdowns and restrictions,” explained General Manager Magnus Alnebeck. “This really gives them a chance to get out of the house, and away from TV and video games. Learning how to swim is important, and sadly due to recent storms something that is lifesaving in Grand Bahama.”
On May 30, the property kicked off the first in its series of summer swim lessons designed to teach water safety and swimming.
Led by former competitive swimmer Coletor Johnson, affectionately called Aunty Coco, 12 young swimmers ranging in age from three to 14 dove into their hour-long session in one of Pelican Bay’s three pools with all of the pool equipment and accessories also provided by the property.
“I've been teaching swimming for over 17 years,” noted Johnson. “I also have lifeguard, CPR, first aid, and AED training and so my focus is definitely on encouraging water safety in addition to having fun in the water.”
Over several weeks, Johnson was joined by Taryn Smith, a former competitive swimmer in her own right and the creator of the Life Aquatics Learn to Swim Program.
“I specialize in teaching private lessons focused on learning long-term skills,” she said. “My swimmers not only learn how to save themselves if need be but they’re also able to thrive and enjoy themselves in the water.”
This is the latest in a number of employee-focused initiatives launched by Pelican Bay to enrich the lives of its staff members. From events to celebrate mothers and fathers to special holiday givebacks, the company has created a culture of celebration around its workers.
“We really value the contribution of all our team members and so wherever we can, we strive to give back in little ways and in big ways” noted Operations Manager, Della Bridgewater. “As the summer months begin we are truly happy to be able to give the children of our employees a fun outlet to enjoy their summer, one that is also safe and engaging.”