Drowning figures for July have doubled across Spain, with the hot weather being a factor, whilst irresponsible bathers blatantly flouted red flag areas on Costa Blanca beaches last weekend, with police being called in to cajole swimmers out of the water.
Figures released last weekend showed that 83 people lost their lives through drowning last month, with the 2015 total standing at over 200. The July figures are more than twice for the same month last year, when 32 died through drowning. 10 lives were lost across the Costa Blanca and Valencia region, whilst the Murcia region saw five fatalities.
Bathers ignored red flag warnings last weekend with 37 swimmers having to be rescued at Torrevieja’s La Mata beach as strong winds blew across the area. Alerts from Red Cross staff including whistling and shouting were brushed aside, as lifeguards risked their own lives by having to pull people out of the water. La Marina’s south beach saw swimmers refusing to leave the water and the local police having to be called in to get them out, including fining a male bather who refused their pleas to get out of the sea.
In a separate incident, a 27 year old Torrevieja swimmer had to be rescued on Sunday afternoon after a wave smashed him into the ground at a small cove at Cala Mosca on the Orihuela Costa. After difficulties with access, emergency services managed to reach him and stretcher him off (pictured) from the area into an ambulance.
Record visitor numbers coupled with the start of the August break and hot weather led to reports of heatstroke amongst swimmers, old and young, right across the coast last weekend. A two year old girl had to be pulled unconscious out of the water at Castillico beach at Santiago de la Ribera at 6.00pm last Sunday, and was revived before being taken to Los Arcos hospital in San Javier. Earlier in the afternoon, a 76 year old man was rescued at Puntica beach in San Pedro, and also transferred for a check up to Los Arcos.