Drivers from all over the world have learned that the color red means stop. However, many tourists visiting the beaches in Los Cabos have forgotten that important color connection.
Recently, travelers have found themselves in danger while swimming at the beaches of Los Cabos by ignoring the red colored flags at their own risk.
Red Means Stop
Just like a stop light or stop sign, a red flag posted on a Los Cabos beach tells visitors to stop. Visitors to the beach should not get in the water when a red flag is posted.
Red flags are posted by lifeguards and local authorities to warn beachgoers that the conditions at the beach are unsafe and dangerous for swimming.
This is usually due to the presence of large waves in the sea or even a potentially dangerous strong current in the water.
Local officials monitor water and weather conditions on a regular basis and often can predict the hazardous conditions well in advance of the danger.
Swimmers Ignoring the Red Flag
According to Cabo San Lucas Civil Protection Administrator Román Graciano, there has been a disturbing trend of swimmers completely ignoring the red flags and getting in the dangerous ocean at their own risk.
Fortunately, there have not been any recent incidents that led to injuries or death of the swimmer.
He said that intoxication is the main reason why visitors ignore the red flag and get into the water.
While enjoying the buzz from the alcohol, beachgoers are putting themselves at unnecessary risk from the dangerous waves and potential undertow.
They also put themselves at risk of an encounter with the Los Cabos municipal police or the Mexican national guard.
When local officials or lifeguards see a swimmer ignore the red beach flag and get into the water, law enforcement is notified immediately.
It’s more to keep the visitor safe instead of having the person arrested. Most of the time, the local police or national guard simply ask the tourist to get out of the water and then explain to them the meaning of the beach flag system.
However, in the very rare instance that the swimmer refuses to get out of the water or becomes abusive with the police due to the alcohol, they get a free room to recover for the night, this time in the Los Cabos jail.
Risk Increases With Hurricane Season
The danger from strong waves and currents in the ocean really increases during the tropical storm season when large storms and hurricanes are in the vicinity of Los Cabos.
The churning of the ocean from the storm and high winds can kick up waves far away from Los Cabos and push them toward the beach resort destination.
The tropical storm and hurricane season is one of the more dangerous seasons for swimmers in Los Cabos.
The tropical storm and hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean usually runs between June 1 and November 30 every year.
How To Protect Yourself
First and foremost, visitors should follow the directions given to them by Los Cabos officials and lifeguards and not enter the water when a red flag is displayed at the beach.
They should also know the meaning of the other common flags displayed at beaches in Los Cabos.
Visitors to Los Cabos should also be aware of their surroundings after consuming alcohol and be especially careful when in potentially dangerous situations.
While the color-coded beach flag system is pretty reliable for beach conditions, the ocean currents and waves typically are not.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea for Los Cabos tourists to be prepared for potential accidents happening while on vacation and carry travel insurance before arriving at the beach resort destination.
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