FUENGIROLA’S Special Emergency Plan for Beach safety (SEPLA) has helped thousands of people so far already this summer.
The project, which was launched in June 2016, brings together workers from the rescue services, Local Police, beach cleaning team and surveillance services.
Since its inception, the service has seen workers intervene in more than 14,000 incidents, mostly involving cleaning and enforcing beach regulations, although 2,063 of those involved health incidents.
Jose Sanchez, Fuengirola’s Councillor for Beaches, explained the objective of SEPLA is to have a single service along the Fuengirolan coastline, providing security and emergency services under a single command, in this case under the coordination of the Inspector of the Local Police, Antonio Hernandez.
He commented, “the SEPLA plan has been operating for three seasons and brings together around a hundred people from maritime rescue services, surveillance services and maintenance and cleaning and administrative services,” noting, “from June 1 to July 30, workers helped 2,063 people with health issues… most of which were the result of jellyfish stings, burns, dizziness or losing something.” He added, “we should thank the rescue services for all their work.”
He advised beach-goers, “it is important to keep in mind that when the sea is rough and the red flag is up we should take precautions when swimming, especially in beaches where there is a lot of wind,” adding, “pay attention to lifeguards and the instructions they give us. If it is forbidden t swim please make sure you do not go in the water because it not only risks your life but that of the rescue worker too.”
Fourteen people man the beach surveillance service, from 11.30am to 7pm every day. In addition to health incidents, workers helped out withinformation enquiries, preventing illegal street vending, misuse of showers, preventing illegal massages or helping to find missing people.
Councillor Sanchez explained the beach maintenance team works from 6am to 1pm every day, “giving their all so people who come to enjoy the beach find it in perfect condition.”
He concluded, “we are very aware of the importance of our coast and the importance of beaches for Fuengirola, as I believe that 90 percent of the people who come to our city in summer do so for the beaches that are available for tourists and residents. It has always been important to the mayor and his council team to keep our beaches in perfect condition.”