Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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New beach flag causes confusion

in News · 19-07-2018 14:28:00 · 0 Comments

A new red and yellow striped flag being hoisted for the first time this year on Portuguese beaches seems to be causing some confusion among beach-goers as it indicates beaches are safe to swim on, despite the colours on the traditional beach flag safety system suggesting otherwise.

Traditionally, on the solid block-colour flags, red means do not enter the sea while yellow means a medium hazard and bathers should exercise caution.
However, this new flag, comprising a thick band of red and yellow, actually means the spot is safe and recommended to swim in.
In comments to newspaper i, Fernando Fonseca, spokesman for the National Maritime Authority, explained that colours were decided in an international convention and that these flags will be adopted by the different countries belonging to the ILF (International Life Saving Association).
“The only thing that could cause some confusion (...) is that people might think this is an area where you cannot enter. It may have the opposite effect, but in fact it doesn’t mean that. These flags delimit the recommended area for bathing; not mandatory, recommended”, explained Fernando Fonseca.
To overcome this issue, a notice board will be posted at the entrance of beaches to explain the meaning of the various flags being flown, such as the traditional safety flags (i.e. red, yellow and green) and, in certain cases, the Blue Flag quality symbols.
However, Fernando Fonseca believes any puzzlement will be resolved in time: “This will eventually be demystified; we have made an effort with the media (...) to spread the reason for these flags, both on social networks and in all the opportunities that we have with the media.
“We are talking about the flags and I think it’s just a matter of time [before people get used to them]. This matter will be demystified” but, he stressed, “it was not our responsibility to choose the colours.”

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Edition 1505
15 December 2018
Edition: 1505

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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