THE Balearic government is to allocate 120'000 euros to subsidising local council investment in the future of “beach safety on the Islands”.
José María Rodríguez, regional Interior minister, confirmed yesterday that the Plan, which is to come into effect halfway through this coming Summer, is now at a draft stage involving 37 selected coastal districts. The pilot scheme will be in the spotlight at the third Safety and Prevention Summit, which is being held today in Palma. At this forum, representatives of regional Interior and Tourist ministries will have been meeting with local town councils to discuss “Beach Safety” project management issues. An innovative aspect of the Plan encompasses the cataloguing of all 327 beaches of the archipelago, 171 on Majorca, 43 on Minorca, 89 on Ibiza and 24 on Formentera. Emergencies director, Joan Pol, signalled that the safety standards on Balearicbeaches will improve significantly once the Plan is in place.
Last year, accident reports registered 292 cases where there had been “danger to life and limb”, 27 deaths (15 of them through drowning).
Pol specified that, apart from the direct subsidies to local town councils, the Balearic government will take responsibility for the training of new beach lifeguards who will undergo special study courses at the Balearic School of Public Administration (EBAP). There will also be central co-ordination of the training of lifeguards and “look out” personnel, who will need to attend refresher courses every 3 years. “Risk analysis” will be undertaken of individual beaches which will give an across-the-board reflection of the levels of dangers for users. Recommendations will be made, according to the risk level of each location, what is, or is not, prohibited. At the Assembly, Director of Tourism Planning, Josep Aloy, highlighted the importance of combining issues of “safety and cleanliness” to produce a “value added factor” for tourism in the Balearics.