Surely you have observed on many occasions flags of different colors placed on the beaches by lifeguards but do you know what they mean?
Although it is obvious to think that its colors work very similar to what a traffic control traffic light does, each flag has the purpose of protecting the health and life of bathers, so it is very important to know how to read them correctly before entering the sea.
Therefore, we have prepared this short article where we tell you everything related to these security measures.
The green color means that there are good conditions for swimming. Before placing it on the beach, the weather is evaluated, the strength of the sea currents, the possible presence of dangerous marine fauna and pollution levels.
Although this flag indicates the best forecast, it is advisable not to underestimate the sea conditions, as these can change at any time.
This flag indicates that caution should be taken when entering the sea, ensuring that the water does not exceed the level of your waist. This is due to the presence of sea currents that can envelop you if you venture deeper.
The red flag is a warning that the conditions for swimming are risky due to the rising tide. Under these circumstances do not try to enter the sea if you are not an expert swimmer and, if so, take extreme precautions and do not get too far from the beach.
Keep in mind that high tide makes it difficult to rescue lifeguards since the location of bathers becomes complicated because high waves limit visibility.
The blue flag indicates that the presence of marine fauna may exist in the area. Such is the case of jellyfish, which are also popularly known as “bad water.”
If the body of this species comes into contact with the skin they can produce a quite intense burning, similar to the sensation of a burn, due to the toxicity of the tentacles.
Some jellyfish are more poisonous than others depending on the species. Most of those who find bathers are the least poisonous but it is recommended to be vigilant when the blue flag is placed to detect them in time and avoid touching them when swimming.
A black flag is indicative that you should not enter the sea or the beach due to a possible state of contamination
Unlike the blue flag that is placed by the lifeguards, the signaling of a beach as a “ Blue Flag ” site, corresponds to a certification granted by an international organization that guarantees the sanitary quality and tourist services that a beach has.
In Mexico, there are several beaches recognized as Blue Flag that you can visit. Here we show you some of them.
Precautions when swimming in the sea
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages before swimming or while doing it. The effects of alcohol reduce your ability to react and coordinate to swim.
- Do not go beyond the security zone bounded with balls. Many accidents occur because bathers do not respect this limit and are hit by boats or jet skis.
- Avoid swimming near rocky areas since they usually inhabit colonies of hedgehogs whose spines can hurt you.
- Also, keep in mind that the waves can make you hit the rocks.
- Keep an eye on the instructions of the lifeguards. Heed their recommendations when they ask you to get out of the water or get closer to the beach.
- Get out of the sea immediately if you suffer a jellyfish sting since the poison can immobilize you in a short time if it is very toxic. It also avoids touching the body of a dead jellyfish out of curiosity, as its tentacles keep toxicity levels still inert. Contact the lifeguard immediately to help you.
- Use sunscreen biodegradable and moderates time to expose yourself to sunlight, especially at noon.
- In case of a thunderstorm, avoid staying on the beach even if you are not in the water since you are exposed to lightning strikes in the open field.
- Hydrate properly to avoid headaches due to heat.
- Do not trust, the absence of flags on the beach does not mean that the waters are safe.