A Great Idea
Locals know that the rip-tide at Las Manchas beach can be quite
dangerous, yet tourists aren´t aware of the danger.
However, new signs on the beach explain why it's necessary to keep
swimming to your left, because the riptide current pulls you out to
the right, and now there is a safety line on the right hand side.
This even happens to experienced swimmers who have swum off
this beach for many years. People like Ivan of Zumatours, who was
caught in the riptide and was finally picked up by boat many
hundreds of meter north at Las Palmeras. The danger is less now,
thanks to Mario Pittaluga, a 43 year old Italian who has worked as a
Dive Master in Montezuma for 13 years. Mario has been operating
the Las Manchas Cabinas, Restaurant and Dive Club for the last year
and has become an unofficial lifeguard for that beach. Not long ago
he pulled 8 people in 1 week from the ocean, so he thought a lot on
how he could make the beach safer.
Mario's solution was to lay out a long rope with floats, fixed to a
buoy in front of the beach, which is itself anchored to a heavy
concrete block on the ocean floor. The anchor line is covered by a
plastic tube, so it won't be damaged by the nearby rocks.
The rescue rope lays on the surface of the water.
Las Manchas beach can be really quiet for an hour or so, with
people bathing and paddling in the calm, crystal clear water, and
then out of nowhere a set of 3-4 really big waves crashes in. People
are pulled off their feet and into deep water. Inexperienced
swimmers tend to panic, and some of them have been very
fortunate that Mario was nearby. The biggest shock for Mario was
when a tourist lady was sunbathing on the beach and her daughter,
who was only 8 years old and a non-swimmer, was playing on the
beach in shallow water. Suddenly a set of big waves pulled her out,
but fortunately Mario saw it, and jumped in behind her. He says he
could see her underwater, eyes open and stretching out her arm as
far as she could. Mario says if her arm had not been out so far, he
couldn´t have grabbed her in time. Three people have drowned off
Las Manchas beach in the last fifteen years.
Now, if you get pulled out, use Mario's new rescue line! Swim to the
rope, go along the rope to the buoy and hang on. Wait until the
ocean calms down, then come in hand over hand along the rope.
Snorkelers can also use Mario's rescue rope to help them, as the
water is very clear here. Snorkel gear can be rented from Las
Manchas, also beach chairs. In fact, you can spend all day on
beautiful Las Manchas beach, order food, drinks and sometimes
even listen to good music.
Just remember: to be
really safe, stay on the
left side of the beach,
and don't go out too far.
Make sure you can
always feel the sand
beneath your feet. Watch
out for your children. Be
on the lookout for the
next big set of waves. If
you are pulled out and
can't grab the rope, STAY
CALM, and swim or float
until a boat picks you up.
Remember: the current
will eventually carry you
back to shore.
So thanks to Mario the
beach is safer now, but
ironically someone tried
to sue him. They thought
the rope was an illegal
Zoom siguió cada paso
de la instalación de la
cuerda de rescate...
Ahora pueden estar más seguros en
el caso de que sean arrastrados por
una corriente, la cuerda estará lista
- Mario amarra un cabo de la
cuerda a un árbol.
- Prepara el bote y se mete
en el agua.
- se va mar déntro con
su hijo Sasha para dejar el
otro extremo de la cuerda
amarrada a un ancla en el mar.
- Luego amarra unos
flotadores a lo largo de la
cuerda de rescate.
- Y asegura todo con un
verdadero nudo marinero.
- Mario y Sasha felices por el
- La fotografa de Zoom se
refresca en una poza.
- El mar de las Manchas
aveces parece una piscina aun
que puede ser peligrosa.
- Gracias a Mario por los
rotulos que alertan sobre los
peligros de las corrientes