After an extremely hot and humid summer, the monsoons have finally hit Goa. And as we all know, the monsoon months from June to September have to be heeded with caution. From driving on the roads to even visiting the beach, as tourists usually do, everyone needs to be extremely careful. For this reason, Drishti Marine has issued an advisory to the public requesting them to not go into the sea during these months.
The monsoon months from June to September are to be heeded with extreme caution
The rains have just started in Goa. Everything is lush and green for as far as the eye can see. The beaches are also beautiful but angry with waves lashing the shores. Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected over the weekend according to the MET department. They say that the rainfall will also intensify over the coming days and weeks as expected. Strong winds and thundershowers are also likely to occur.
Drishti Marine has a 600-strong lifeguard force manning Goa’s beaches throughout the year. All beaches are off-limits for swimming during the monsoon months and this is evident with the placement of red flags along all the beaches under their surveillance. This strictly means that these beaches are no-swim zones.
Ravi Shankar, CEO, Drishti Marine said “Pre-monsoon showers have already hit Goa. Over the past few days, strong winds and 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 is monitoring the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather.”
It’s not all bad news
Sometimes, during the monsoon months, there are brief dry spells. In case of these, Drishti Marine may open up a few beaches to the public so that visitors can wade into the waters. However, and this is still to be stressed on, SWIMMING is NOT advisable. There would still be strong undercurrents and riptides below the water surface.
Ravi Shankar explains, “Goa’s coastline is quite complex and requires mapping every morning. If weather conditions are favorable, 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.”
Staying safe on Goa’s beaches during the monsoon months from June to September
Drishti Marine checks the weather forecast with the IMD on a daily basis to keep a close tab on the weather conditions. Most recently they issued an advisory on Cyclone Mekunu.
They also advise parents to keep a vigilant eye on children ensuring that the young ones do not enter the water even if it’s shallow.
Besides this advisory, they have also offered a few rules to ride out the monsoons in safety:
- Those visiting the beach should keep minimum 10 meters away from the waterline and listen to the instructions given by the lifeguards.
- 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 do 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 4 pm. The sea is usually very rough in the afternoon because the wind speed increases at 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 these become a lot more slippery and mossy during the monsoon season.
- It is not advisable to swim or to engage in any watersports 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 warning.
- 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.
The monsoons are not to be taken lightly
It’s important to note that this is a yearly occurrence. The government of Goa shuts downs all beaches for swimming and all water sports activities during the monsoon months. This is because the sea is rough, choppy and extremely dangerous at this time of the year. Even fishing is banned until the beginning of August. Approximately 1500 fishing trawlers have pulled up their nets and will remain unoperational for the duration of the ban.
Information credit – Drishti Marine