With the onset of monsoon, a private lifeguard agency employed by the Goa government to man the state beaches, has warned against swimming in the sea and entering choppy waters for the next four months. “We advise visitors to the beach not to venture into the sea during the monsoon months. We have put up red flags at all the beaches which means that the area is not meant for swimming. Even wading into the waters is not advisable,” P N Pandey, General Manager (Operations) Drishti Lifesaving Private Limited, said in a release in Panaji.
The state has 105-kilometre long coastline and the lifesaving agency has deployed 700-odd personnel to man the beaches and tourist spots. Pandey said that it is not advisable for the visitors to venture in the sea from June to September. “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,” he said.
Pandey said that those visiting the beach should keep minimum 10 meters away from the waterline and listen to the instructions given by the lifeguards. He said that the team of lifeguards present along the coast is monitoring the weather conditions. In case of a dry spell over the next few months and depending on the weather conditions, Drishti may open up a few beach stretches.
“Goa’s coastline is quite complex and requires mapping every morning. If weather conditions are favourable, we may open up the zones on some of the beaches for visitors who want to wade into the waters,” Pandey said. “These zones can be identified by the red and yellow flags and will be decided on a daily basis depending on the day’s weather. However, even in such conditions, swimming is not advisable due to the presence of under-water currents and rip tides,” he added.
The agency said, “the adults have been cautioned to keep a very close eye on children while on the beach and to not allow them to venture into the waters unattended, no matter how shallow it may be.”