The Secretary of Health for Baja California Sur is recommending tourists avoid using the beaches across the state, including in Los Cabos, for the next five days due to the wastewater impact from Hurricane Hilary.
Unclean Water Conditions
Local rivers have been working overtime for the last few days helping to carry excess water to the ocean and avoid flooding much of Los Cabos.
However, they also caused a number of contaminants, such as sewage and garbage, to flow to the local beaches and the ocean in the area.
Because of this, many of the local beaches in Los Cabos are now considered off-limits to swimmers and bathers for health and safety reasons.
The closed beaches include those located in the San Jose del Cabo Tourist Corridor along with La Gaviota, El Corsario, Las Viudas, and El Chileno beaches.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Health for Baja California Sur Zazil Flores Aldape has declared for the next five days, tourists are highly recommended to avoid swimming or bathing at any local beaches.
High Wind Danger
Officials with the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone office have also placed dangerous beach condition flags on several beaches in Los Cabos due to the risk of high winds.
Two beaches in Los Cabos have red flags posted – La Hacienda and Palmilla beaches.
Meanwhile, one beach has a yellow caution flag posted on it for tourist safety – La Ribera beach.
The flags will be posted while the high wind conditions are present at the beach. They will be removed once the condition improves and the wind danger has passed.
Tourists can ask lifeguards at the local beaches for the most recent update on the conditions of the ocean.
However, visitors are recommended not to use any local beaches for swimming or bathing for the next five days.
Beach Flag Colors
The beach flag colors in Los Cabos work similarly to stoplights.
A green flag posted at the beach means there are no conditions or limits for tourists to swim and bathe at the beach.
A yellow flag is a warning. The beach is open for visitors to Los Cabos to swim and enjoy their day. However, there are conditions at the beach that may make swimming hazardous. Swimmers should exercise extreme caution while swimming at the beach.
A red flag means that the beach is closed and off-limits to swimmers due to life-threatening waves or current conditions in the ocean. Swimmers are not allowed to enter the beach, and police may ticket or arrest tourists that defy the flag rules.
There are two additional flags to be aware of when visiting a beach in Los Cabos.
A white flag warns swimmers of the presence of jellyfish in the water. It is not recommended to swim while jellyfish are in the water, however, travelers to Los Cabos can swim at their own risk.
A black flag on the beach indicates that the beach is closed, just like a red flag. However, a black flag doesn’t just mean that the conditions are unsafe, but the water is unsafe.
For example, the wastewater run-off due to Hurricane Hilary has beaches closed with black flags due to unhealthy water bacteria and pollutant levels.
Tourist Safety Advisory
With a number of local beaches still closed or limited due to health and safety issues related to Hurricane Hilary, tourists should heed the recommendation of the Secretary of Health for Baja California Sur and avoid going to any local beaches for at least five days.
The health department will continue to monitor the condition of the water and the beaches for the next several days.
Once the results come back that they are again safe for swimmers, the Secretary of Health will inform Los Cabos tourists of the revised recommendation.
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