An interview with two lifesavers in Agia
Marina Beach in Chania, Crete
by Yannis Samatas
What are your names? : Stamatakis Yorgos and Souris
Yorgos. (Note: Yorgos is George in Greek)
Have you worked for a long time as lifesavers?
Stamatakis Yorgos: This is the first year that I
work as a lifesaver. I used to do it in the past too but it was
on a volunteer basis.
Souris Yorgos: No, I have also worked for two years
in Rethymnon beach.
Does the sea get often dangerous here in Agia Marina?
Stamatakis Yorgos: When the weather is bad, I mean
when there are high north winds blowing, then there are strong currents
and big waves. In this case we do not allow people to swim far away
from the beach.
Are Greek people in danger more often than tourists?
Stamatakis Yorgos: I think that the same applies to
all. I don't think that people from a certain country are "worse"
Have you ever saved someone?
Stamatakis Yorgos: This is my first year here and
I am glad that there has not been such an emergency yet.
Souris Yorgos: It has not happened to me in Agia Marina
either, but in the two years that I used to work in Rethymnon we
had faced thirty emergencies.
Are there always two lifesavers present in this part
of Agia Marina beach?
This is a windy day and the wind is likely to get stronger
later in the day. Besides, it is Sunday and we expect a lot of swimmers
to be here today.
Is there a li fesaver's school that you have graduated
Souris Yorgos: I was trained in a school in Rethymnon. The
school is supported by the Municipality of Rethymnon and it lasts 2 months.
Is it hard to become a lifesaver?
Souris Yorgos: It is necessary for someone to be a very
good swimmer and very fit. I exercise daily and I am a 3 km (2 miles)
How do people respond to your instructions? What is your relationship
Stamatakis Yorgos: People have not realized the importance of a lifesaver's
profession yet. They have not realized that we are responsible for their
safety and it is not unusual for some people to ignore our instructions.
Sometimes we advise someone for his own safety but then he/she ignores
us or even laughs at us. I think that more time is needed for people
to appreciate what we try to do for them.
Souris Yorgos: I also agree with Yorgos. However it is very impressive
how people's attitude changes when they experience an emergency. As soon
as they see a lifesaver saving someone then they respect us and follow
Your position is high above the beach and I am sure that many people
will notice you too. Are there many girls admiring you?
Stamatakis Yorgos (laughing): Well, it happens occasionally...
Explore Crete: Thanks a lot for this valuable information and
I wish you a pleasant summer without any emergencies.
Stamatakis Y. and Souris Y.: We also thank you. Have
a nice summer too!