The boats in Colonia Sant Jordi.

A merchant navy captain, Josu Díaz, believes that the Mallorcan coast is on its way to becoming "a maritime disco". There are many people from the nautical sector, he says, who are raising concerns, not least about the dangers. "The sea is not the terrace of your house. People die. There is a great lack of control."

Díaz is highly critical of certain companies that rent boats out for parties. "Even though the boat may be anchored, the crew has to remain vigilant. But these parties involve alcohol and drugs. If a Guardia Civil patrol boat were to show up and find the people in charge under this influence, the skipper would be hit hard. If it's a rented boat, the owner is fined and this can amount to thousands of euros."

The parties at sea, he adds, have been multiplying in recent years. They have become "a fashion" in Mallorca, but there are people who get nautical qualifications on a whim with "crappy" tests. "They get the title of recreational boat skipper but they have no idea of ​​maritime regulations."

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There is therefore the danger at sea. "It's a matter of maritime security. The Mediterranean is a dangerous system and article five of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Accidents at Sea states that a boat must maintain adequate visual and acoustic vigilance." Given the decibels generated by such parties, safety cannot be guaranteed. "Boats in the whole area cannot maintain acoustic surveillance due to the music. And that is a very serious infraction." Despite a reputation for being calm, the Mediterranean Sea "can be very treacherous".

Díaz was speaking in light of the party with nineteen boats off Colonia Sant Jordi last weekend. With regard to that party, the Balearic environment ministry has revealed that proceedings have been opened for three specific infringements prior to it taking place.

The boats apparently started the party off Cabrera. They were expelled by environment agents, having emptied bilge water into the sea, having disembarked in a restricted area and having been speeding in the port area. In addition, crew members from these boats were removed from the castle, where they had apparently intended to have a drinking party.