A Turkish tourist on holiday in Bali was dragged out to sea by the high tides over the weekend. As officials across the island continue to warn against the dangers of the supermoon’s tidal changes. The woman, reported by local media as 36-year-old Kuyuncu, almost drowned in the waters off Berawa Beach in Canggu on Saturday 16th July.
Local reports suggest that Kuyuncu was swimming in the sea with friends just before sunset on Saturday afternoon. The Head of Public Relations of the Badung Police, IPTU Ketut Sudana explained that ‘The victim was dragged by the currents of the waves to the beach’. He continued to say that she could be heard screaming for help as she was being dragged away by the undercurrent.
Hearing her screams a surfer who was further out to sea paddled over and managed to grab her onto his board and he managed to get them both safely back to shore. It is not clear whether Kuyuncu lost consciousness but local reports explain how eyewitnesses seriously thought that she had drowned.
Sudana told the media that ‘the victim was taken to the nearest hospital for medical assistance’. He told reporters that both tourists and locals must be careful when swimming in the sea. The news of Kuyuncu’s scary incident comes as officials across departments in Bali have been issuing weather warnings and warnings against swimming in the ocean for over a week.
Tidal flooding has been seen along the southern coast of Bali since the full moon on the 13th of July. Strong waves have been crashing along the coast of Gianyar Regency for days. This matched with strong winds and heavy rain off the Bali coast have been the source of serious concern for maritime authorities. Though the high tides have started to ease, officials are urging locals and tourists to take the weather warnings seriously.
Throughout the weekend the Head of Emergency and Logistics for the Gianyar Regency Regional Disaster Management Agency was communicating with local media and beach management teams to tell visitors to stay away.
Dibya Presata explicitly said ‘People are advised to avoid the beach’. He confirmed to the media that he has his emergency disaster rescue teams on standby. The worst affected beaches were Rangkan Beach, Siyut Beach, and Lebih Beach along the south coast.
Although the weather warnings have been reduced as the new week begins, officials are still urging beach visitors to exercise caution. It is believed that the worst of the supermoon tides were experienced between the 12-17th July.
Coastal flooding reached 30cm in places and dozens of beachside shops, cafes, and bars were flooded in popular tourist areas like Balian Beach, Tanah Lot Beach, Sanur Beach, Kuta Beach, and Batu Bolong Beach.
Some beaches will may remain intermittently closed to visitors in the coming days, and visitors to beaches across Gianyar Regency can expect to see increased staffing in the area. As the full moon passes and the moon begins the waning phase the severity of the high tides will decrease. The stormy weather front that battered the coastal waters has also passed.
According to local weather reports the south coast of Bali will experience a mix of clear and cloudy skies for the rest of the week with the possibility of patchy rain. The winds have died down considerably but beach visitors can expect to feel strong gusts of wind up to 28km/hr.
As Bali sits in the middle of the high season, officials are urging visitors to prioritize beach safety during their holidays. This includes only swimming on beaches where is it safe to do so, and never entering the water without first telling someone who can keep an eye out should you need help in the water.
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