Costa Rican Red Cross and ICT Report Increase of Aquatic Rescues at Beaches

The frequency of aquatic rescues has been increasing in recent days not only due to the increase in beach visitation but also due to the climatic conditions, wind direction, the presence of rip currents and storm surges with extended periods of high altitude, a situation that makes bathers a susceptible population if security measures are not applied.

“The increase in rescues shows us that people have decreased precautions over the recommendations that first responders normally provide for adequate enjoyment in these areas. The institution calls for measures such as swimming keeping the water level at the waist, always following the recommendations of local lifeguards, never swimming alone, always accompanied and other measures to maintain your safety” declared Jim Batres, National Director of Risk Management and Attention to Emergencies.

“For the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the increase in visits to the beaches fills us with satisfaction and is a tangible reflection that Costa Ricans are enjoying tourism, however, this situation poses the permanent challenge of not lowering our guard on the compliance with the health measures of social distancing, making the visits within the social bubbles and complying with the protocols established for entering and enjoying the beaches in the context of this new normality,” said Alberto López, General Manager of the ICT.

López also urged national and international tourists who visit the beaches to follow the precautionary measures, be attentive to the preventive signs placed on the beaches, and always swim accompanied, to minimize the risks so that the touristic experience when visiting the beach always be positive. “Prevention and precaution are always the best ways to reduce risks”, López concluded.

From May to date, with the partial opening of the beaches, a total of 41 rescues have been recorded, of which 22 have taken place in the last 24 days, representing 53.65%,

Among the rescues that are counted, is the one of a couple with a 10-year-old child (Playa Tamarindo and Playa Cocles) who did not have the supervision of an adult and was carried away by the current. Fortunately, this rescue was successful.

Here are the stats:

Male minors: 6

Female minors: 5

Adult females: 14

Adult males: 15

Older male: 1

Total: 41

The number of people on the beaches is increasing

Last weekend (September 12, 13, and 14, 2020) an increase of 61.71% in visitation was seen compared to the long weekend of August (holiday). The data given by the Costa Rican Red Cross are only for the beaches of Manzanillo, Playa Cocles, Manuel Antonio, Parque Marino Bahía Ballena, Tamarindo, and Playas Ventanas (6 beaches), which represent only 20% of the beaches with the highest number of visits and drowning rates in the country.

It is important to call on the population to respect the closing periods of the beaches, to be alert to changes in environmental behaviors on the beaches (waves, rip currents, tides), and to take special care of children when they are in the water.

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