Owing to the recent incidents of drownings which took place due to victims venturing into the sea during nightfall Drishti has issued an immediate advisory to alert beach goers on the dangers of swimming in the night.
In the past five days, three incidents have taken place leading to the drowning of four persons, where victims have ventured into the sea under nightfall. In two cases the victims entered the sea in the early hours of 03.00am.
Drishti’s 600 -strong lifeguard force man Goa’s beaches between 7.00am and 6.00 pm every day.
With moderate and heavy rains lashing various parts of Goa, Drishti Lifesaving, the state-appointed professional lifeguard agency had issued a monsoon advisory instructing visitors to the beach not to venture into the sea during the monsoon months extending from June till the end of September.
Drishti further advises beach goers not to venture into the sea under any circumstances after sunset as the sea conditions are extremely unsafe. Poor visibility in the night and under water currents add to the complexity. If under the influence of alcohol, make sure you do not venture into the sea at any point of time during the night or day.
Goa’s beaches have a lot of monsoonal inlets at specific locations and the water run-offs generate strong rip currents which exists till the end of monsoons. It has been observed that during this season the tides are usually high and the tidal force is much more than normal because of the strong and gusty winds that increase the tide level. Also, the waves are higher than the regular waves while the underwater currents are much stronger during the monsoons.
Owing to the present weather conditions, red flags have been posted across all beaches under Drishti’s surveillance indicating that these are strictly non-swim zones. In case of a dry spell and depending on weather conditions, Drishti does open up a few beach stretches so that visitors can wade into the waters.
Drishti Lifesaving checks the weather forecast with the IMD on a daily basis to keep a close tab on the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather
The Goa government shuts down the beaches for swimming and all water sports activities during the monsoon months from June to August each year as the sea during this season tends to be extremely rough and choppy.
#ListenToYourLifeguard: Safety tips by Drishti, Goa’s lifeguard agency:
- Those visiting the beach should keep minimum 10 meters away from the waterline and listen to the instructions given by the lifeguards.
- Do not enter into the sea under any circumstances after sunset as the sea is rough and visibility is low.
- In case of a dry spell or no rainfall it is advised not to enter into the water above knee level in a swim zone which is marked with a red and yellow flag.
- Keep a very close eye on children while on the beach and to not allow children to venture into the waters unattended, no matter how shallow it may be.
- It is not advisable to venture into the water between 12 noon and 4pm. The sea is usually very rough in the afternoon because the wind pick up is more during this time.
- Avoid choosing a secluded beach which is not manned by a lifeguard. Instead pick a beach that is surrounded by people and never swim alone. Lifeguards are usually manning these areas.
- Stay alert as lifeguards while patrolling make announcements to alarm and educate people via the Public Address System put up on the jeeps.
- It is not suitable to head out to the beach or venture into the water during lightning and thunders because lightning can pose a danger.
- Do not get onto the rocks during low tide because the rocks get a lot more slippery and mossy during the monsoon season.
- It is not advisable to swim or to engage in any water sport activity at the beach during the monsoons months from June to September because even though the sea may seem calm, a sudden large wave can sneak up on you and pull you into deep waters without warnings.
- If under the influence of alcohol make sure you do not venture into the water.
- Always read and obey the safety signs found at the main entrance of the beach.