More than 100 swimmers rescued at Blue Lagoon amid strong sea currents

Swimmers ignored red flag warnings

The incident happened in the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon.

The incident happened in the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon.

More than 100 swimmers had to be rescued at the Blue Lagoon today as strong currents struck Comino by surprise, according to the Emergency Response and Rescue Corps.

Two rescue boats had to be deployed to ensure the safety of all swimmers, the Gozo-based NGO said.

Nobody was injured as rescuers worked tirelessly throughout the morning and afternoon to get people out of the water in what has been described as one of the most serious incidents to hit the bay in years.

Most of those rescued were foreigners who had ignored the two red flags erected to warn against anybody getting into the water.

Unless you're a very strong swimmer, you're bound to be exhausted

The rescuers were assisted by a hydro-ambulance and Transport Malta officials.

When contacted, Paul Parnis, ERRC deputy coordinator and a lifeguard for five years, said the water around the Blue Lagoon can be unpredictable.

He said swimmers were trying hard to swim against the water current, whipped up by the strong winds.

"When you do that it's the equivalent of running on a treadmill and unless you're a very strong swimmer, you're bound to be exhausted."

Mr Parnis suggested swimmers caught in such sea conditions without warning are advised to swim either perpendicularly or move with the current until they can cling on to the swimming-zone designated ropes.

The ERRC and the Malta Tourism Authority reassured the public that
swimming at the Blue Lagoon is safe as long as swimmers abide by the safety
procedures within the designated swimming zone and respect
the signal flags set out every day.

The ERRC is a Gozo-based voluntary, charitable and non-profit organisation that aims to prevent and alleviate emergency situations involving people at risk.

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