The AMN have advised bathers that with hot weather (temperature varying in many areas between 28 – 36 C) coupled with sea temperatures of only 16 and 19C, people should take care to avoid cold water shock.
This is the body’s short term involuntary response to being suddenly immersed in cold water. When the body enters this cold environment there are a number of physiological responses. The sudden lowering of skin temperature is one of the most profound stimuli that the body can encounter. The responses tend to be short lived, but threaten survival.
The AMN state that this can take place particularly when diving into cold water when the air temperature is high. This together with the fact that there are “practically no supervised beach areas at this time of the year, means it is important to step up prevention and safety efforts”.
The Portuguese Federation of Lifeguards adds “People have to be careful when they go to the beach and enter the water particularly for non-swimmers”.
The AMN advise is:
- Do not risk swimming if there are any doubts about sea conditions;
- Have an interval of three hours between a normal meal and swimming;
- Take care when walking close to the water line as a sudden wave can drag the person into a dangerous situation;
- Watch children and do not let them play near the water line and
Be careful of entering the water due to the already mentioned low temperature that can cause thermal shocks when diving.