DANGEROUS currents off the Arenal beach in Javea on Tuesday caused lifeguards to hoist the red flags for the first time this summer.
The most serious of all beach warning flags, red flags warn swimmers of serious hazards in the water. Red flags mean that the surf is high or there are dangerous currents, or both. It means that the water is closed to swimming, as conditions are too dangerous for even the strongest swimmers.
Despite the red flags clearly flying across the beach, swimmers ignored the warnings, which resulted in five rescue operations taking place.
The lifeguards rescued two young men aged around 20, a man aged around 45, a woman aged around 60 and a minor aged 14.
A Dutch tourist ignored the lifeguards several times as they told him not to enter the water – which resulted in the police being called, who handed him a €750 fine.
Failing to respect the warnings meant the tourist not only put his own life at risk, but the lives of the lifeguards – the police therefore deemed him to have intentionally hampered the functions of the public service.
Last year, several similar fines were issued.
Javea Ayuntamiento released a statement on Wednesday reminding all beach-goers to respect the beach warning flags and that, although the surf is low on the Arenal beach, the water is subject to strong currents that make it difficult to return to shore once in the water.