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Cancun Lifeguards Rescue More Swimmers As Beaches Fill With Tourists

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As record numbers of travelers flock to Cancun’s award-winning beaches, the number of lifeguard rescue missions has grown dramatically over the past few weeks. While Cancun’s beaches are amongst the safest – and cleanest – in all of Mexico, authorities continue to remind travelers to swim cautiously and follow basic safety guidelines.

A lifeguard walking on a Cancun beach with equipment

Despite more lifeguards on public beaches, several travelers have drowned recently in Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

Each year, Cancun’s Blue-flag beaches attract millions of sun-seeking travelers. Some of the city’s most popular beaches are located in the vicinity of Cancun’s packed resort zone, including Chac Mool, Marlín, and Delfines. While they are some of the safest in the country, Cancun officials recently reported that the number of emergency calls and rescue missions has risen sharply, coinciding with the busy winter travel season.

A local ambulance vehicle in the Mexican Caribbean

Cancun officials are known for taking excellent care of the city’s renowned beaches; from cleanliness to safety, no stone is left unturned when it comes to providing travelers with a memorable experience.

This year, Cancun has extended the opening hours of some of its main beaches to attract more travelers. However, despite multiple on-duty lifeguards, cases of drownings and close calls have been on the rise recently.

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Aerial View of Cancun Hotels, Beaches, and the Caribbean Sea

New figures suggest that Cancun’s emergency services are becoming increasingly saturated as first responders and lifeguards perform more rescue missions. According to reports from the Benito Juárez Firefighter Body, the number of weekly emergency calls relating to drownings has risen from around 6 calls per week in January to between 10 and 12 in February.

A red flag on display in Cancun warning about sea

According to Arturo Sosa Munoz, a local firefighter director, most close calls happen when travelers are swept away by strong currents and are unable to swim back. “People that need to be reduced are usually elderly, between 50 and 70 years old. They often need help because they can’t swim back or because they get stuck in strong currents,” the official said in a local media interview. 

A lifeguard tower on a Cancun beach with a palm tree

Playa Delfines and Marlín have reported the highest number of lifeguard rescues during the first few months of the year. They also happen to be some of the most popular beaches in Cancun and are surrounded by large all-inclusive resorts. Authorities expect the number to grow further with Spring Break and Easter just around the corner. Other factors like alcohol or drugs also play a role in drownings, especially late at night when no lifeguards are on duty.

Travelers Are Reminded Of Basic Swimming Tips 

With more and more travelers flocking to the Mexican Caribbean, authorities are keen on spreading awareness about essential swimming safety tips. One of the most important things visitors can do before heading to the beach is to take note of Cancun’s color-coded warning system. 

Tropical views in Costa Mujeres with beach chairs and trees

Popular Cancun beaches display different colored flags based on how safe swimming is at any given moment. A green flag indicates ideal swimming conditions, with minimal wind, waves, and currents. On the other hand, a yellow flag suggests stronger currents, during which time swimmers should be extra cautious. Red and black flags mean swimming should be avoided due to unstable conditions. 

Officials have also pointed out that families should never let small children swim unaccompanied and also recommend swimmers stick close to the shore where powerful currents are less likely to catch travelers by surprise. 

A beach in the Mexican Caribbean with blue skies and waters

Cancun has deployed more lifeguards on its public beaches ahead of the busy winter season. This year, at least 19 lifeguards will be on duty from 9 A.M. until 5 P.M. on the following beaches: Del Nino, las Perlas, Chac Mool, Tortugas, Marlín, Ballenas, and Delfines.

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