Red flags to be put up at Goa beaches to ban swimming
The state-appointed lifeguard services which man Goa's beaches have decided to put up Red flags at all the beach entrances from this week onwards as monsoons are likely to hit the coast anytime.
Tushar Sunil Shinde, Manager (Operations), Drishti Special Response Service (DSRS), said they will be putting up Red flags at the main entrance points of beaches which otherwise have red and yellow flags signifying safe swimming zones.
"The red flags across the different beaches now mean that the area is not meant for swimming," he said. Goa government has already shut down the beaches for swimming as the sea is rough during monsoons. The DSRS, which has 420 lifeguards manning 105 km long beach stretch, will also try to educate people through public address system.
"We will also try to educate people via our Public Address System put up on the jeeps through which the lifeguards will announce the ban on swimming in the waters," he said adding that lifeguards who patrol the beach will also further communicate with tourists who try to venture out into the sea and explain the dangers involved.
Shinde said the monsoons coming in the water current turns violent and the size of the waves rise considerably. "These large waves are not regular waves, they have a criss-cross pattern and are extremely difficult to manage. To add to the woes, Goan beaches have a lot of monsoonal inlets at specific locations and these water run offs generate strong rip currents (water that runs towards the sea) which exists till the end of monsoons," he said.
Shinde said that additionally there are feeders or lateral currents which run parallel to the beach and end straight into these rips so even if a swimmer gets into water at a particular location which he thinks is otherwise "safe", he will get dragged into these rips eventually, thus, endangering his life.