Panaji: With moderate and heavy rains lashing various parts of Goa, 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.
According to the MET department, the southwest monsoon has arrived into Goa and the next few days will witness heavy rainfall and will intensify over the next few weeks. Pre-monsoon showers commenced in the state earlier this week with light to heavy 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 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 are monitoring the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather.”
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 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 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 Marine checks the weather forecast with the IMD on a daily basis to keep a close tab on the weather conditions and recently issued an advisory on Cyclone Mekunu.
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 will also be observing a 61-day fishing ban from 1st June to 31st July where nearly 1,500 trawlers will pull their nets off the territorial waters for the entire period of the ban.