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Members of the public are being urged to desist from entering the water when red flags are posted at beaches and listen to the advice of lifeguards.
This comes after lifeguards at Browne’s Beach, on Bay Street, St. Michael were pressed into action today to rescue four people from the choppy waters, including a seven-year-old visitor to the island.
Head of the Department of Lifeguard Services at the National Conservation Commission, Dave Bascombe, expressed serious concern over people, both visitors and locals, disobeying the instructions of lifeguards and proceeding into the waters, and thus endangering their lives.
These sentiments were echoed by Lifeguard and Swim and First Aid Instructor, Christopher Gajadhar, who cautioned that with the inclement weather, people, especially children, should stay away from the water.
"There are red flags on Browne’s Beach which is usually one of the safest beaches, so we are advising people to stay away," he warned.
He added that there were also reports of Brandons Beach and other beaches along the island’s west coast being choppy as a result of the inclement weather.
The Lifeguard also pleaded with the public to stay away from the water along the island’s east coast. "That is the Atlantic Ocean out there and there are rip currents. If you fall in knee-high water the currents can take you out [to sea]. Don’t even wade in the water by the shoreline of the east coast. Walk in the sand away from the water," he cautioned.
The Barbados Meteorological Service also issued advisories for sea bathers and small craft operators noting that the seas were moderate in open water with swells between 2.0 to 2.5 metres.
Red flags posted on beaches mean there is to be absolutely no swimming, while a yellow flag indicates that people should exercise caution when in the water.