90 percent of swimmers rescued at Lima’s beaches consume liquor before entering the water, informed Peru’s Aquatic Rescue Unit of the national police. During the 2007 summer more than 2,000 rescues were carried out on Lima’s coast.
Commander David Pérez Vigo explained that drinking alcoholic beverages slows people’s movements and reactions in the water, causing swimmers to underestimate sea currents. He recommended not to enter the ocean after consuming alcohol or food. Eating before bathing heightens the risk of cramps in the water, a situation that could be fatal. If seized with a cramp, do not struggle but raise your arm for help, float and keep the affected parts of your body perfectly still.
The police authority also cautioned beachgoers not to leave the marked borders and to swim parallel to the beach instead of heading out to sea. Don’t get excited if caught in a current or undertow, but raise one arm up and float until help arrives.
Last Sunday 32 rescues had to be carried out on various beaches due to dangerous conditions created to an unusually high surf.
Perez Vigo emphasized that aquatic rescue services continue to be on duty at Lima’s and Callao’s beaches and public swimming pools even though the summer season has officially come to an end.
In case of a beach emergency please call 247-3404.
Enjoy the last few extra days of summer and keep safe.
Article by Wolfy Becker