Many beaches along Cancun and the Riviera Maya are affected by strong currents.
Three areas in the state of Quintana Roo that are known as popular tourist beaches have been listed as dangerous to those not considered strong or expert swimmers.
Isla Blanca at Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc beach in Tulum are the areas considered the most dangerous for swimmers. These areas form points which carry strong currents which are known as rip currents, however, Playa Delfines in Cancun is also known for its strong currents.
Carlos Eduardo Camargo Perera, certified instructor in Water Safety Training, First Aid and CPR (Caproci), says these currents go back and forth from the coast into the sea. The currents are created due to strong breaking waves that reach the beach.
Anyone not considered a strong or expert swimmer may find themselves at risk of being swept out into the sea.
“These currents can cause people to be carried away from the beach. Then they try to swim upstream, but to no relief. People become tired and sometimes drown,” explained Perera Camargo.
During the Easter break, state Civil Protection recorded the death of 13 people due to drowning at Tulum. Some of the swimmers were under the influence of alcohol and unable to swim effectively. They were carried out to sea.
Playa Delfines in Cancun is a common beach where strong currents are formed. Visitors to Playa Delfines will want to take note of the flags placed along the beach by local lifeguards. When red flags are out, it means the current is strong and swimming is not advised.
There are other beaches along the Riviera Maya that offer swimmers safe places to take a dip.
Puerto Morelos, according to Camargo Perera, is one of the safest beaches. Due to its location, the beach area is protected by the barrier reef. Beach-goers will find the same situation at Punta Sam in Cancun. Due to the position of Isla Mujeres, the island decreases the currents that reach the coast and thus, relieving the area of strong rip currents.