Panaji, May 3 (IANS) With the mercury shooting through the roof, Goa's private lifeguard agency issued on Thursday an advisory for the hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals who head for the beaches in summer, especially in May, when the temperature in the coastal state peaks at 38-40 degrees Celsius.
The advisory asks tourists to look out for rip tides and powerful underwater currents that are a major cause for drowning off beaches -- a regular phenomenon in summer, while also advising swimmers and beach-goers to stay hydrated and avoid direct sunlight.
"The blue sea is inviting during the sweltering summers. However, the seemingly calm waves may have rip currents, flash currents and underwater currents that the beach-goers need to be cautious about before taking a dip into the sea.
"The team of lifeguards present along the coast are monitoring the surroundings and are trained to carry out rescues in the rough sea conditions," the advisory says.
"The scorching heat can also be the cause of skin rashes, sunburns and heat strokes. Make sure to stay hydrated through the day and try to avoid being in direct sunlight between 12 noon and 3 p.m. when the rays are the harshest," it adds and recommends use of a sun screen and a beach umbrella to stay away from contact with direct sunlight.
Goa is one of the country's top beach tourism destinations and attracts more than six million tourists every year. The state's most frequented beaches are manned by a 600-strong force of life guards managed by a private agency, Drishti Marine.
The advisory also asks tourists to swim only in swim-safe zones, marked by flags and located near lifeguard stations.
"Owing to the present sea conditions, it is advisable to swim between the flags marked in red and yellow, as they indicate moderate surf and currents, while strictly avoiding the red flag areas which indicate the non-swim zones," the advisory states.