Goa advisory instructs visitors to stay off beaches

Drishti Marine, the State-appointed lifeguard agency, advises visitors to avoid rocky areas, cliffs and hills on the shoreline.

With moderate to heavy rains expected to lash various parts of Goa over the next few days, Drishti Marine, the State-appointed 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 the beaches in the coastal tourist State 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 June 1 to July 31 where nearly 1,500 trawlers pull their nets off the territorial waters for the entire period of the ban.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department(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 monsoon, the State will witness strong winds and thundershowers.

Drishti’s nearly 600-strong lifeguard force man the 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 on Monday, “Even wading into the waters is not advisable during monsoons. Our team of lifeguards present along the coast is 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 in North coastal belt and Tiracol in South coastal belt 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.

“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 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 underwater currents and rip tides,” cautions Mr. Ravi Shankar.

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.

Source: The Hindu

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