With monsoon imminent, Goa bans swimming in sea



With the imminent arrival of the monsoon and strong winds blowing across the coastline on Monday, a private lifeguard agency appointed by the state government to man Goa's beaches has banned swimming and all water sports activity till the end of September.

"With moderate to heavy rains expected to lash various parts of Goa over the next few days, Drishti Marine has issued a monsoon advisory instructing beach visitors not to venture into the sea during the monsoon months extending from June till the end of September," a statement issued by the Drishti Marine lifeguard agency said.

The Goa government routinely shuts down the beaches for swimming along with 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, as a result of which nearly 1,500 trawlers registered in the coastal state are not allowed to enter the sea for the two-month period.

According to the IMD, heavy rainfall with high-speed winds is likely to occur at isolated places over north and south Goa.

Pre-monsoon showers already 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.

"We have put up red flags at all the beaches which means that the area is not meant for swimming. Even wading into the water 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," Drishti Marine Chief Executive Officer Ravi Shankar said.

Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts more than seven million tourists every year. IANS