By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
A new summer nationwide nautical safety campaign has been launched this week with special attention being paid to the Balearics where nearly a quarter of all nautical accidents occurred last year.

The Ministry for Development explained yesterday that, in response to increases in the number of recreational pleasure craft involved in accidents every summer, a new safety drive is being launched to increase the levels of safety and also improve people's behaviour.

Last year, the various air sea rescue services attended 3'398 marine emergencies.
52 percent involved recreational craft - jet skis included - and of those, 22 percent happened in Balearic waters. Only Catalonia accounts for more accidents - 25 percent.

Phase one of the security and safety crackdown is an awareness campaign which is going to involve the distribution of thousands of leaflets in various languages explaining the safety laws, the rules and regulations and also offering advice as to what to do in the case of an emergency.

Jose Blanco, who has been put in charge of the campaign said “information and prevention is the key.” The various leaflets are going to be distributed for free in ports, marinas and yacht clubs across Spain.
The Balearics, especially Majorca, handles tens of thousands of pleasure craft every year - it is one of the most popular yachting destinations in the Mediterranean - and in order to ease the burden on the air sea rescue services, it is hoped that the recreational yachting industry will respond positively to the new safety campaign.

There are currently 207'000 pleasure craft registered in Spain.

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