Lifeguards call for alcohol ban on Playa del Carmen beaches
PLAYA DEL CARMEN — Lifeguards in Playa del Carmen are calling for an alcohol ban on local beaches.
They say that approximately 80 percent of beach emergencies involve intoxicated people entering the water. These people ignore verbal lifeguard warnings as well as markers such as red flags. These mishaps have kept Civil Protection authorities busy as tens of thousands of people arrive each week for vacation.
Lifeguards explain that in recent weeks, there have been four incidents of intoxicated parents misplacing their children. Although the children were found, the carelessness of parents takes away from the lifeguard’s duty to watch over other people on the beach.
One lifeguard said, “About 80 percent of the incidents that we have to address are problems with intoxicated people who are irresponsible and enter the sea, some with the bottles in their hand. This creates a danger to both themselves and to others because if the bottles hit rocks, they can cause cuts.”
He noted that regulation indicates that when a lifeguard sees an intoxicated person enter the sea, they are to retrieve them and then ask them to leave. If the person refuses, emergency 066 is called, which utilizes Municipal Police support as well as the lifeguard, neglecting other beachgoers.
July 15 marked the start of the official summer vacation season for Playa del Carmen and the rest of the Riviera Maya. Thousands of people have been arriving daily, taking to the beaches for their annual holiday.