All swim zones on Goa beaches to open on November 1, 2018

Hyderabad, October 30, 2017: After recent cyclonic winds rendered the seas off Goa’s beaches unsafe for swimming, the beaches of Goa, one of the top beach tourism destinations in Asia, are all set to formally open for swimming from November 1, with the monsoon season finally waning and post-monsoon showers receding.

Drishti Lifesaving, the state-appointed professional lifeguard agency, has started the process of setting up of safe swim-zones on Goa’s beaches from the November 1, 2018, to facilitate safe swimming along the state’s beaches.

Recent cyclonic winds had influenced weather and sea conditions, which had in turn triggered underwater and rip currents in the seas, which had led to the deferring of the opening of safe swim-zones on Goa’s beaches.

Starting November 1, all beaches will be open for swimming and beach activity. Drishti Lifesaving maps the weather and sea conditions each morning and accordingly sets up safe swim-zones along the beaches which are manned by the agency.

Drishti’s 600-strong lifeguard force mans Goa's beaches through the year. Most of the beaches across Goa are safe to swim in, however Drishti advises beach-goers and swimmers to adhere to some basic safety measures. Swimmers should ideally swim only in the swim-zones which are marked with red and yellow flags by the Drishti lifeguards. Non swim-zones are marked with red flags and are not meant for swimming. Anjuna however, being a rocky beach does not have a swim zone. Additionally, there are signage at the entrance of every beach which list down the kinds of flags, what they mean, instructions and safety tips.

Additionally the lifeguarding agency have identified ‘No-Selfie’ zones at 24 unsafe selfie points and erected ‘No-Selfie’ boards to identify the spots.

Drishti lifeguards closely monitor 22 beaches across South Goa and 16 beaches across the North Goa stretch from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm (until sunset).

South Goa: Baina, Bogmollo, Velsao, Hollant, Arrosim, Majorda, Utorda, Betalbatim, Colva, Benaulim, Taj – Benaulim, Varca, Zalor, Cavellosim, Mobor, Agonda, Pallolem, Patnem, Rajbagh, Talpona, Galgibag and Pollem.

North Goa: Querim, Arambol, Ashwem and Mandrem, Morjim, Vagator, Anjuna, Baga-1, Baga-2, Calangute, Candolim-1, Candolim-2, Sinquerim, Miramar, Vaiguinim –Donapaula, Siridao /Bambolim as well as Dudhsagar Waterfalls and Mayem Lake.

At the start of the monsoon season, the lifeguard body had issued an advisory instructing beach-goers not to venture into the sea during the monsoon months, extending from June till the end of September. Red flags are erected at all the beaches indicating that they were no-swim zones, which essentially meant that the beaches are not meant for swimming. Even wading into the waters is not advisable during the monsoon months.

The Goa government shuts down the beaches for swimming and all water-sports activities during the monsoon months from June to September each year, as the sea during this season tends to be extremely rough and choppy. Goa also observes a 61-day fishing ban from June 1 to July 31, when nearly 1,500 trawlers pull their nets off the territorial waters for the entire period of the ban.

217 Indian tourists and 46 foreigners have already been rescued while swimming off the state’s beaches from January to October this year, by lifeguards of Drishti Lifesaving, a private beach management agency in-charge of safety of tourists on Goa’s beaches. Safety of tourists and protection of life on Goan beaches is a top priority for Goa government’s Department of Tourism.

#ListenToYourLifeguard: Safety tips by Drishti, Goa’s lifeguard agency:

·         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.

·         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.

·         Do not get onto the rocks during low tide because the rocks get a lot more slippery and mossy

·         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.

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