PANAJI: The southwest monsoon is likely to hit Goa’s coast within the next 24 – 48 hours according to the India meteorological department (IMD). With moderate to heavy rains expected to lash various parts of Goa over the next few days, 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, says a press release.
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. This year Goa is observing a 61-day fishing ban from 01st June to 31st July, where nearly 1,500 trawlers pull their nets off the territorial waters for the entire period of the ban.
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 commenced in the state earlier this week with light showers witnessed across the state. With the onset of the monsoons the state will witness strong winds and thundershowers.
After the recent Cyclone Tauktae the sea profile near the beaches has changed resulting in more areas where rip currents are observed. These rip currents can pull a person inside the sea making it difficult to swim. Drishti’s 600 -strong lifesaver 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.
Navin Awasthi, Operations Head, Drishti Marine, said: “Pre-monsoon showers have already hit Goa. Over the past few days light showers were witnessed along the coastal stretch. We have put up red flags at all the beaches which means that the area is not meant for swimming. Curfew is currently still on in Goa, so we advise visitors not to venture onto the beach. Even wading into the waters is not advisable. Our team of lifesavers present along the coast are monitoring the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather.”
Drishti advises visitors to avoid rocky areas, cliffs and hills on the shoreline. These are very slippery during monsoon season and also wave height, intensity and frequencies are very high and one can easily get washed out. All rocky areas around the fort areas in Anjuna, Vagator and Tiracol are out of bounds during monsoons.