Serious incidents at Balearic beaches have risen this year from 601 to 695, an increase attributed to the good summer and so there having been more days for swimming. The director-general for emergencies and the interior, Pere Perelló, says that at times the beaches reached their limits of capacity and this brought with it a greater risk. He points out, though, that rescue services worked more hours this year and that their numbers increased by 10%.

Slightly under a half of all the serious incidents were in Majorca - 343 - with Ibiza registering 182, Minorca 149 and Formentera 21. Of these, the number of drownings were up to 18 from ten in 2014: sixteen of these were in Majorca. The numbers who needed reviving fell from 68 to 48 (43 of them in Majorca), a decline put down to the rapid response by lifeguard and rescue teams who saved people from exhaustion and cardiac arrest.

Forty-three more people than in 2014 had to be taken to hospital, there having been 368 cases in Majorca out of a Balearic total of 536. There was a fall, though, in the number of incidents outside the hours operated by rescue services. There were just six this summer, whereas there were 15 last year. Accidents involving boats or other craft which required rescue/medical attention included two deaths from a total of eleven.

The number of jellyfish stings was down markedly from some 30,000 to 20,000, with 7,400 of these having been in Majorca. There was a reduced jellyfish presence during the summer.

The efforts of the rescue services can be seen in the context of the amount of coastline - over 500 hectares - and the number of catalogued beaches. Of these, there are 220 in Majorca, 155 of them considered to be low risk, 42 medium risk and 23 high risk. Minorca has 74 beaches, one more than Ibiza, while there are 22 in Formentera.  There are four high-risk beaches on these islands together, two of them in Ibiza.

The emergencies’ directorate reports that during the swimming season, classified as corresponding to the tourism season from 1 May to 31 October, there were 360 surveillance points operated by some 500 lifeguards on 142 monitored beaches, 82 of these in Majorca. Perelló says that the government is constantly working on improving beach safety and that areas where there have been serious incidents in 2015 will have “in situ” rescue personnel.