Panaji, June, 2019: With moderate to heavy rains expected to lash various parts of Goa over the next few days, Drishti Marine, the state-appointed professional lifeguard agency has 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.
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. Goa is also observing a 61-day fishing ban from 1st June to 31st July where nearly 1,500 trawlers pull their nets off the territorial waters for the entire period of the ban.
According to the IMD, heavy rainfall with high speed winds is likely to occur at isolated places over north and south Goa.Pre-monsoon showers commenced in the state earlier this week with light showers witnessed across the state. With the onset of the monsoons the state will witness strong winds and thundershowers.
Drishti’s 600 -strong lifeguard force man Goa’s beaches through the year. Owing to the oncoming monsoons and the present weather conditions, red flags have been posted across all beaches under Drishti’s surveillance indicating that these are strictly non-swim zones.
Ravi Shankar, CEO, Drishti Marine said “Pre-monsoon showers have already hit Goa. Over the past few days light showers were witnessed along the coastal stretch. Accordingly, 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.Our team of lifeguards present along the coast are monitoring the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather.”
Drishti advises visitors to avoid rocky areas, cliffs and hills on the shoreline. These are very slippery during monsoon season and also wave height, intensity and frequencies are very high and one can easily get washed out. All rocky areas around the fort areas in Anjuna, Vagator and Tiracol are out of bounds during monsoons.
River bathing including water sports activities is restricted and can only be done under the supervision of trained and certified operators.
In case of a dry spell over the next few months and depending on weather conditions, Drishti may open up a few beach stretches so that visitors can wade into the waters.
Explained Ravi Shankar, “Goa’s coastline is quite complex and requires mapping every morning. If weather conditions are favourable, we mayopen up the zones on some of the beaches for visitors who want to wade into the water. 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.”
Drishti especially cautioned adults to 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.
Drishti Marinemonitors sea conditions on a daily basis and keeps a close tab on the weather.
#ListenToYourLifeguard: Safety tips for the monsoons 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.
- 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.
- Avoid choosing a secluded beach which is not manned by a lifeguard. Instead pick a beach that is manned by a lifeguard and surrounded by people.
- 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
- 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.