It wasn’t an entirely happy summer for the lifeguards in Alcudia. Among things, there were complaints about lack of equipment, including defibrillators. Mayor Barbara Rebassa and the councillor for the beaches, Domingo Bonnin, were at one point accused of lying by a group of lifeguards over a report concerning equipment.
The town hall was said to have washed its hands of the lifeguards and left them helpless in respect of grievances over working hours.
The source of the discontent wasn’t so much the town hall as the company which has the lifeguard service contract. Over a week ago, a letter was sent by lifeguards to the mayor. This wanted to know what penalties would be imposed on the company for “serious” breaches over the summer.
The mayor was once again the target for accusation. According to the lifeguards, she had not enforced the agreement with the company, putting safety at risk.
They specifically referred to there having been a lack of the necessary number of lifeguards on occasions.
“What will happen next year, when a normal season is anticipated? Will there continue to be a shortage of staff? Will we have to continue working more hours and days off against our will?” These were questions asked of the mayor, who faced further questions when the whole matter was raised at the latest council meeting.
Domingo Bonnin dealt with the answers, saying that the company has been sanctioned for breaches on four days in September and one day in October. He added the coordinator of beach services had reported that, despite the lack of lifeguards on these days, the lifeguard service was not “neglected”.
The responses may do for now, but it seems pretty obvious that not everything is well with an important service. Grievances shouldn’t be allowed to linger until next season, when - as we all anticipate (hope, anyway) - there will be greater tourism normality.