With Easter almost here, and Turismo reporting tourist numbers set to fill all available accommodation over Semana Santa, emergency services 112 Canarias has put out a plea to all visitors to inform themselves about the seas here, and the precautions they should take since they won’t know the currents – to take zero risk. The official advice is as follows … and even if you think the following basic rules are “just common sense”, the tragic fact is that people drown by not following them:
- Choose your beach carefully depending on whether you can swim or not, your age, whether you’ll be with children (who must be under parental control at all times).
- If you aren’t an expert swimmer, or are with family, choose a quiet beach with good access and where there is a lifeguard.
- Check if there are any meteorological alerts from the authorities or media: holidaymakers can check in the reception of their accommodation. If there is an alert, go another day!
- Don’t dive into shallow water.
- Don’t go in the water if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs.
- If it’s windy, don’t use lilos or floats because you can be carried out to sea.
- If you see someone in difficulty in the water don’t go to try to help, but call 112 immediately and try to throw a floating object towards the person struggling.
In beaches without signs or lifeguards:
- don’t go swimming alone;
- ask locals or surfers where the dangerous parts of the beach are;
- get into the water slowly while checking its depth;
- swim parallel to the coast within your depth.
In beaches with lifeguards:
- be aware that there might be zones designated for water sports;
- remember that if the flag is green, you can swim; if yellow, you can swim with caution, but if red, you cannot go in the water;
- take notice of lifeguards and obey their instructions;
- if you are in difficulties or feeling ill, try to leave the water; if you cannot, wave your warms so that someone will see you, and try to stay calm.
Please also see my page HERE on Staying Safe in Tenerife Waters, where I describe the warning flags used, what undertow is, what rip tides look like, and above all, cold water shock.
Enjoy the water this Easter, swim safely, and let’s hope that ZERO RISK results in zero fatalities.