Cyprus, Nicosia

Rules of Conduct on the Water

Updated: 2 weeks ago
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With the arrival of summer in Northern Cyprus, news of drowned vacationers has become more frequent.

Правила поведения на воде

To avoid such incidents, we are publishing basic recommendations on how to avoid trouble in the sea. Some are known to everyone, but it doesn't hurt to repeat them. Other points, such as safely escaping a rip current, are not familiar to everyone. If you're hearing this term for the first time, you should definitely read this material.

Pay attention to the flags

Official beaches usually have flags. Red clearly indicates a ban. When the flag is red-yellow or yellow, swimming should be done with caution. A green flag means swimming is safe.

Avoid unfamiliar places

It is safest to swim at official beaches, where there are lifeguard towers and lifeguards watching over swimmers. The most problematic entry points into the water at such beaches are specifically marked with red flags or barrier tapes. Swimming in deserted places guarantees no potential help.

Do not swim after consuming alcohol

Of course, to a drunk person, the sea might seem shallow, but that's only until the first serious situation arises. Under the influence of alcohol, a person loses coordination and cannot correctly assess their strength, which can lead to tragedy.

Watch your children

Situations that may seem safe to adults might not be safe for children at all. Due to a lack of experience, children can panic and act inadequately. Carefully watch your children even in calm seas, and never let them swim alone, even in moderate waves.

Do not swim during a storm

In strong waves, it is better for adults to avoid swimming. Even experienced swimmers may misjudge their strength and choke on one of the waves, which can be irregular and unpredictable during a storm.

Do not swim beyond the buoys

This advice is familiar to everyone since childhood, but often people want to prove something to someone or themselves. It's better to do this in a pool. Beyond the enclosed area, it will be difficult to save you, the current can be strong and unpredictable, and there are water scooters, boats, kite surfers beyond the buoys, who may simply not notice you.

Do not swim during hot hours

In Cyprus, the sun is quite intense, and it's better to avoid water from noon to 4 PM. First, this can result in heat stroke. Second, a sudden temperature change (hot air and relatively cool water) can lead to vascular spasms and cardiac arrest — the so-called syncopal drowning.

Fight cramps

With cramps, further movement in the water is very difficult. To relieve muscle spasms, you should act on the muscle — pinch yourself hard or press something sharp on the cramped spot. It's a good idea to attach a pin to your trunks or swimsuit to activate the spasm area if needed.

Avoid rip currents

Rip currents are the main cause of drowning. They form in channels through which incoming waves return to the sea. Here are our tips on how to deal with them.

Do not panic and do not swim towards the shore

This is the cause of accidents — due to panic and reflexive frantic swimming towards the shore, people simply exhaust themselves.

Swim parallel to the shore

The channel width rarely exceeds 50 meters, and if you are being carried out to sea or you feel that you are not getting closer to the shore — swim sideways. After some time, change direction towards the shore.

Conserve energy

If you get into a rip current, do not fight it; you will need your strength to make a turn and first swim out of the current, and only then swim towards the shore. On the sides of the channel, incoming waves can help you towards the shore.

How to help a drowning person

If you see someone drowning, immediately alert the lifeguards, and if you think you can help and it will be quicker, go rescue them yourself. Ask someone on the shore to call for rescue services.

Remember that a drowning person will instinctively resist and may drown their rescuer. To avoid this, you need to take the person in trouble from behind by the neck and swim to safety with your free hand.

If there is something inflatable or simply buoyant on the beach, take it with you, even a child's inflatable ring will do.

Contact information of the rescue service of Northern Cyprus

  • Unified rescue service phone in Cyprus: 112
  • Additional ambulance contact: 158

We hope our advice helps you avoid unpleasant situations on the water. Remember, these rules are created for a reason, this is a case where they should be followed and not ignored.

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