STAFF REPORTER THE Balearics is now in full swing so far as beach management is concerned with almost 300 lifeguards and 13 rescue organisations starting operations right round the Islands, the regional government confirmed yesterday.

Of the total of 13 rescue companies, eight will be attending to the needs of Majorca along with 171 lifeguards; three will be working on Ibiza with 58 lifeguards, and another 3 on Minorca and 1 on Formentera with 8 lifeguards.

Similarly, as was the case last year, measures continue to provide information to the public on how to prevent jellyfish stings. Leaflets are being distributed on the different types of jellyfish that there are in Balearic waters and what to do in the event of being stung. They also describe the raising of a special purple flag where jellyfish are present and advise that warning posters have been put up on beach noticeboards in four languages - Spanish, Catalan, English and German.

The Balearic Emergency department said yesterday that there are 254 beaches in the Balearics categorised as “low risk”, 140 of “medium risk,” and 43 listed as “high risk.” As well as these clearly defined ratings, there are 13 other locations in the Balearics where bathers run risks from marine currents. In order to provide rescue services to these often “out of the way” spots, the Balearic government has provided “sea-based” rapid response units (SAUD) which consist of launches or jet skis manned by lifeguards who keep a lookout along stretches of the coast which would otherwise have no permanent rescue services.

The SAUD units in the Balearics will be operational this year in Es Migjorn, Sant Joan and Arta; five lookout towers are manned (4 in Sant Antoni on Ibiza and 1 in Sant Josep); Formentera and Es Migjorn will have rescue craft; Ciudela on Minorca will have a jet-ski style rescue vessel and all municipalities in the Islands will provide resuscitation equipment to the lifeguard patrols.