It may seem a little early in the year for swarms of jellyfish to arrive on the beaches of Los Cabos.
However, much to the dismay of visiting tourists, white flags were posted on the most popular tourist beach in the resort destination over the weekend and the dangerous conditions are expected to last into the week.
White and Yellow Flags Posted
Officially the posting of the white and yellow flags on the beach were considered a preventative measure for tourists looking to enjoy their time in the sun, sand and surf.
“Lifeguards from the Municipal Coordination of Zofemat Los Cabos report that the presence of bad water/jellyfish has been recorded on several beaches in our municipality,” stated local beach officials. “At this time, the white and yellow flags are hoisted on El Médano beach as a preventive measure.”
Swimming Still Allowed
The posting of white and yellow flags on El Médano beach means that the beaches are still open for tourists and locals to enjoy swimming. However, they are highly advised against getting into the water.
The presence of jellyfish in the water and on the shore does not close a beach in Los Cabos. Swimmers can still enter the water. However, visitors to the beach resort destination swim during white flag conditions do so at their own risk.
Several swimmers decided to get into the water and were stung by jellyfish. Local lifeguards tended to the injuries and a couple of them decided to get additional medical attention for their injuries.
Yellow Flag Means Caution
Meanwhile, the yellow flag works similarly to a stop light.
While a red flag means swimming is not allowed and green means conditions are good for bathers, a yellow flag is a warning for swimmers.
Swimming is still allowed when a yellow flag is posted on a beach in Los Cabos. However, it indicates that the conditions are dangerous for swimmers and getting into the water is not recommended.
Tourists that get into the ocean during a yellow flag warning do so at their own risk.
Getting Care for Jellyfish Stings
While this should not be taken for medical advice, swimmers that get stung on a beach in Los Cabos should alert lifeguards on the beach for immediate first aid and then should be evaluated by a medical professional for follow-up care.
However, swimmers should stay away from traditional remedies, such as urinating on a jellyfish sting or rubbing the sting area, as many of them can actually make the condition worse.
The most important first step is to rinse off the affected area with fresh water to make sure it is clean and then seek medical attention.
“We remind all our visitors and residents that, if they come into contact with any species, avoid rubbing the affected area. For your safety, come to our lifeguards, who are prepared to provide you with the necessary attention,” officials added.
Tips For Travelers
The best tip for travelers is to avoid swimming at beaches with yellow and white flags posted on them for their own safety and security.
Often, one beach will have the flags posted while another nearby beach may have conditions perfect for swimming. It is simply not worth the risk from jellyfish stings to avoid going to another beach which is perfectly safe for swimming.
Travelers should always make sure they have medical insurance to cover accidental injuries, such as jellyfish stings, which may occur on a vacation getaway.
Since many health insurance plans in the United States do not provide coverage outside the country, visitors are urged to get travel insurance to cover medical costs while in Los Cabos.
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