ignore to the red flag, bathing in unattended beaches, using floats in the sea, being immersed in a `return current´, are the
main risk factors that can compromise our safety when interacting in any aquatic space.
a reckless action can lead to a
drowning or other type of accident, both on beaches and in swimming pools, rivers, etc...
arrival of the summer holidays beginning now, the coastal areas and tourist establishments of the Canary Islands and the rest of Spain begin to receive, during the months of
July and August, to millions of bathers.
We present, one more summer, the
`Decalogue to Enjoy a Safe Summer in the Water´with the basic recommendations launched by the Association for the Prevention of Drowning and Aquatic Accidents,
`Canary Islands, 1500 Km of Coast´, sponsored by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, official collaborator of ADEAC- Blue Flag Spain, with the support of the Government of the Canary Islands, the Department of the City of the Sea and Tourism of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Elder Museum of Science.
In this Guide we offer the
basic preventive tips and how to act if you see yourself in a risk situation in each scenario.
The common denominator for
avoid a disaster in aquatic environments it is, first, to apply prevention and common sense, but if you see or witness an emergency situation:
Always call the single emergency telephone number 112.
80% of accidents at sea are caused by not respecting the color of the flag. The red flag means swimming is prohibited and it is the first cause of death by drowning. A red flag is a red traffic light. However, the majority of the population admits to continuing to bathe, ignoring the risk. Don't skip it!
better with lifeguards
Another of the circumstances that generates the highest mortality rate is bathing on unattended beaches or during the time slot in which the rescue services are not active. From the platform it can be seen that a deserted beach lacks a lifeguard and, on occasions, signs, so if the bather's safety is compromised, there will not be a professional to help them. This circumstance is the third leading cause of death by drowning.
Watch the currents
The 'return current' is another of the main dangers for bathers as they find themselves being dragged out to sea, preventing them from returning to shore. It is the second leading cause of death by submersion. Remember that a 'return current' can be as strong as ten Olympic swimmers. If you're in trouble and can't get out, don't fight the current. Save energy and stay calm. Wave your arms for them to see you.
Check the weather forecast
When you go fishing in coastal cliffs or rocky areas, always check the weather forecast, the state of the sea and the wind beforehand, and make sure you have the necessary equipment to guarantee your safety before leaving home. Always wear a helmet, appropriate footwear and, above all, a life jacket.
A float is not a life preserver
Never forget that children are the most vulnerable to the aquatic environment. It only takes 27 seconds for a twelve-month-old baby to drown. Do not use floats in the sea. A float is not a life preserver, it is a toy that inflates. Those that are shaped like animals (swans, unicorns, flamingos, etc.) are especially dangerous, since their trunk and head act as a sail and will drag the bather out to sea. Circular sleeves and floats, their safety highly questioned. Always get into the water with your child.
Listen to the voice of experience
The platform `Canarias, 1500 Km de Costa´ places special emphasis on its preventive recommendations for the elderly. Precisely, the profile of the drowned person corresponds to a man, between 55 and 75 years of age. Therefore, it is insisted on being aware of the physical condition and limitations. A heart attack in the water causes death in a minute.
safety at sea
When doing water sports, please pay attention to the safety zone and stay away from bathers. If you practice motor sports or sailing, always more than 200 meters from the beach or 50 meters from the rocky areas. Keep in mind that the vast majority of jet ski pilots in Spain lack a degree and, worst of all, experience. Of course, before going out to sea, inform someone on land of the activity you are going to carry out.
sea without barriers
Yes, enjoying a refreshing bath can be difficult for people with reduced mobility. People in wheelchairs, the blind or any other person with a dysfunction must take into account the different services offered by the beaches to facilitate entry and exit from the sea. For this reason, it is recommended to go to beaches that have services for the care of people with reduced mobility. Each and every citizen has the right to enjoy a safe bathroom.
Message in a bottle, always accompanied
When it comes to scuba diving, remember to always be accompanied and to check the equipment before diving into the sea. Always dive with at least one other person and be accompanied by a qualified professional. Be aware of your physical preparation and your limitations before practicing it. Do not forget that this is a risky sport.
eat in moderation
After a large meal or a long time in the sun, enter the water in moderation. Avoid exposing yourself to the sun for more than half an hour at a time and always use a cream with high sun protection.
Do not jump without knowing the area:
When you go to dams, rivers, water reservoirs or ponds in mountain areas, first make sure that bathing is allowed and keep in mind that fresh water has less buoyancy than salt water, so it is advisable to use vests or items that help you float
be careful with selfies
Pretending to immortalize the moment by becoming a
selfie or self-photo off the coast, especially on cliffs or rocky areas, is becoming
a fashion with more and more followerss and, consequently, expose yourself to an accident. And if it is with strong waves due to its spectacular nature, the
chances of a more serious accident still, they multiply, given the urgency with which it is intended to be done to guarantee the spectacular nature of the image.
Watch out for sinkholes!
When you go to the pool,
keep in mind that the drains may not have a cover or grate, leaving these exposed, which represents a special danger for minors. The
suction force from a sinkhole is enough to suck a person in, causing serious injury or even death. Eye! Fathers, mothers and/or guardians, must always enter the water with the children.
Don't lose sight of the children
Curiosity and restlessness of childrenit's amazing but unpredictable. When a child goes missing, especially if he has
between 2 and 6 years old, where you should first look is in the bodies of water. A private pool or a park fountain are clear examples of danger points for a minor who does not know how to swim and falls by accident.
Just a few centimeters of water and just 1 minute, for a child to drown.
Never lose sight of them.