GFD: take caution in the water while seas are rough
Although the sun and sand are what bring thousands of tourists to the island annually, there has been a string of near-drowning and drowning incidents.
The Guam Fire Department is advising both visitors and residents alike on water safety precautions while weather conditions are rough this time of year.
"On Friday we had a report of a possible male individual floating in the water down in Merizo across the Merizo church, turns out that individual was a fisherman and he was transported to Naval Hospital, CPR in progress," GFD acting Spokesperson Cherika Chargualaf said.
"And two days later, two female distressed swimmers were in the same area of the Bile Bay of Merizo and rescued by the Guam Fire Department."
Chargualaf said this is a popular fishing spot, but not typical for swimming. The swimmers were transported safely to shore.
Following this, GFD responded to an incident in Tumon Bay.
"Nikko Hotel was shortly after the Merizo Bile Bay incident that was a possible male tourist that was in distress over the reef line outside of the Nikko Hotel," she said. "CPR was performed en route to the Naval Hospital."
In response to the several cases of drownings, distressed swimmers and other water-related emergencies, GFD offers its sincerest condolences and prayers to the families and friends of the recent victims, however, they do not have an update on all the patient's current conditions.
Officials want the public to be aware of the advisories currently in place.
"For the past week and a half, we have had the weather advisory going for the high surf all the way until this Friday and our waters are very inviting to go out there and enjoy it's a conditions but right now this time of the year it's really not safe to go out," Battalion chief for search and rescue operations, Battalion Chief for Search and Rescue Operations, Roderick Meno said."My best advice to all the locals and tourist alike just stay in the parameters of the reef line, swim within your capabilities and I know it's a little cumbersome but a lifejacket, a life jacket will definitely float, they float and we don't.
During these recent response missions, GFD had to take on the high waters and Meno says they had a tough time exiting the Hagatna channel.
"The vessel could not get out of Agat channel, it was a closeout," Meno said. "Everybody that's heading out to the waters, one you are putting yourself at risk and also you are putting the rescuers at risk, so just heed to the weather warnings and stay safe."
GFD wants everyone to keep in mind that typhoon season is just beginning- this is the time of year when winds and swells pick up and will continue throughout the remainder of the year.