Visit to the beaches in Ghana during holidays are highly patronized, nevertheless, it remains a fact drowning and deaths are always recorded during such occasions. In this regard the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) has put together some beach safety tips and steps you can take to make sure you and your family remain safe while at the beach.
1. Watch for warning flags and know what they mean
Most beaches in Ghana are characterized with flags to serve as a means of communication to revelers. Red and yellow colour flags are the most dominating in our Ghanaian beaches. It could mean danger or deep level of the sea. In most cases such flags are also used to demarcate areas that are suitable for swimmers, hence serving as a guide as to which region of the sea not to swim towards. Despite these indicators, the BPS suggests that direction or advice should be sort from the lifeguards or operators of the beach if you are not sure.
2. Check the weather.
The world over, weather conditions have a great impact on our water bodies. Windy and rainy weather conditions render the sea very turbulent. Strong tidal waves are formed thereby
making surfing and swimming quite difficult. During such weather conditions, lightenings are likely to be encountered. It is also a known fact that lightening and water bodies are not compatible. It is therefore advisable to check the weather report for the day or look out for the changing weather conditions when you set out to the beach.
3. Know how to swim.
Swimming is one of most popular activities that one is able to encounter during holidays at the beach. Swimming at the beach requires much energy and skills. It is not for learners. Sober swimming is mostly the ideal thing to do and always learn to swim with a partner. Just as indicated in the first bulletin, it is advisable to swim upon the direction of the lifeguard. Children and inexperience swimmers should as a matter of concern be restricted to swim close to the shore of the sea with prompt guidance and observation or better still refrain from swimming.
4. Pick a swimming spot close to a lifeguard.
In Ghana, it is a fact that most deaths or drowning have occurred at unguarded sites. Lifeguards serve as security operatives who know their way around the beaches and the likely or potential spots on the sea that poses danger to swimmers. At some of the beach sites in Ghana, lifeguards are positioned at vantage points to check or guard extreme swimmers. In some cases beach goers try to outsmart the lifeguards by swimming to areas which have not been demarcated for swimming. The BPS in this regard, advice that strict adherence to lifeguards instructions should be observed to avoid any fatality.
5. Stay sober.
Beach going in Ghana is a time for merry making. Revelers go to the beach with friends and love ones with accompanying food and drinks. Several kinds of drinks are used; notable amongst them is alcoholic beverages. The intake of alcohol at our beaches is a regular thing one will always encounter. In as much as, beach goers reserve the right to take in any drink or beverage which have been legally mandated under the laws for Ghana for use, it is also important to observe the result of too much alcohol intake. It affects your judgments, causes dehydration and likely to increase heart-related sickness. Hence one can imagine the number of fatalities that will be caused under the influence of alcohol. The BPS wish to urge all beach goers to be circumspect in the intake of alcohol. We therefore wish advice swimmers to desist entirely from the intake of alcohol.
7. Provide adequate Hydration
Beach going in most part of the world is enjoyed on sunny days. During such times, the baking heat of the afternoon sun can be frustrating. Exposure to the sun or heat can lead to dehydration and reduced energy. It is therefore advised to come to the beach with plenty of water to make up for the loss of fluid in the body due to such exposures.
The Bureau of Public Safety is hopeful that this safety information will be largely adhered to, to reduce incidents at the beaches because one life lost is too many. Safety is a shared responsibility hence it behoves each individual to be interested in matters of safety and health.