Palma.—The Ministry for Public Works to which Maritime Rescue reports, said yesterday that the emergency situations amongst pleasure craft had arisen largely due to structural or mechanical failure (70 percent) and that coming adrift or running aground had accounted for 8 percent of callouts. The remaining 22% consisted of varying causes such as fires on board, failure to communicate correct navigational positions, sinking, flooding, etcetera.

The Balearics, meanwhile, confirmed Central Government, responded to the second highest number of air sea rescue emergencies in the country - 613 - second only to Catalonia where there were 918 callouts.

Many of these emergencies said the Air Sea Rescue services could have been avoided if proper maintenance had been undertaken on the pleasure craft and if the proper safety checks had been made before departing on a trip.

Even today, there are emergencies which could have fatal consequences due to such straightforward omissions as failing tocheck whether or not there is enought fuel on board for a trip out to sea.

Air Sea Rescue has 21 control hubs which have been located with covering the needs of the whole of the Spanish coastline in mind. The craft which go to make up the Air Sea Rescue fleet include 55 rapid response boats, 14 fully equipped ocean going ships, 4 patrol vessels, 11 helicopters and 6 planes. The fleet is on permanent alert, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

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