The season’s figures for the Javea lifeguard service, provided by the Red Cross, has ended this year with no casualties and 4,743 assists. An excellent result, considering the large numbers of tourists and visitors on the beaches during the summer season and the new challenges associated with active tourism.
The service has recorded the 4,743 health assisted requests at their posts on the beaches, the vast majority being small incidents relating to jellyfish stings. There were 76 people transferred to local health centres or hospitals.
After one person died last summer, from a cardiac arrest at Portitxoll, the beach was fitted with a defibrillator and a minimum of medical supplies to help provide care in case of an emergency.
Rescues at sea have increased considerably this year with 72 people being rescued compared to just 39 in 2014 and the Red Cross have also assisted with 19 vessels in distress at various coves and cliffs that fall outside the surveillance zone of the beach lifeguards.
However, and in stark contrast, the National Drowning Report shows that 321 people have died this year in Spanish waters between January and September; 45 of them during September, according to the Spanish Lifesaving Federation. Further, 74.8 per cent of drowning deaths (240) occurred between June and September, according to the report.
Six communities account for nearly 74 per cent of deaths; Andalucia, with 53 deaths, Catalonia with 48, the Canaries, 38, Valencia and Galicia with 34 and the Balearic Islands with 30.
According to the data, the average victim profile is male (79.8 per cent of the 321 people were men), Spanish (70.1 per cent), 45-years-old and over (61.7 per cent), who died on a beach (58.3 per cent) and lacked surveillance and rescue (71.3 per cent).
The Prevention and Security Committee of the Royal Spanish Federation of Lifesaving is analysing the data to propose solutions to reduce the number of deaths.