Palma.—The Air Sea Rescue Centre in Palma last year coordinated the rescue, aid and search for a total of 1089 people in 490 interventions in Balearic waters last year.

The air sea rescue service, which has 21 emergency coordination centres across Spain, mounted 413 maritime rescue operations, 69 nautical security missions and eight operations related to the protection of the marine environment.

The total number of vessels involved was 361, 310 of which were recreational craft, 21 were merchant ships, 22 fishing boats and eight cases involved other types of nautical vessels such as jet skis.

And, throughout the summer, the air sea rescue service carried out a number of training exercises in different parts of the region which is one of the most popular for recreational craft during the season, hence the high number of incidents.

Spain's air sea rescue service is responsible for 1.5 million square metres of sea, three times the size of Spain and last year, 11'917 people were either rescued, helped or searched for in Spanish waters, an average of 33 people a day.

And, the emergency service responded to a total of 5'067 maritime emergencies, an average of 14 per day.
However, the total number of vessels assisted was around 400 fewer than in 2011 and yesterday air sea rescue sources said that boat owners used their vessels less last year because of the recession and the high costs of operating recreational craft.

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