AUGUST 15 was a ‘Red Day’ in more than one sense of the word.
During the Tuesday national holiday that brought more than the usual number of people to the area’s beaches, 28 people had to be rescued from the sea in one day along the Centro, Roqueta and Moncayo in Guardamar. One man, a German national and in the rough sea with members of his family, needed to be transferred to hospital after swallowing large amounts of water.
All three of the beaches were flying the red warning flag at the time and bathing is strictly prohibited, but the signs are continually being ignored and even disobeyed by many people, with reports that the majority of those needing emergency help are indeed families that enter the sea with their children without thinking of the fatal consequences.
Throughout the day, members of the Cruz Roja regularly updated social media with the sea conditions and continually patrolled the beaches warning people of the dangers but fell on death ears of many beachgoers.
The usual problems of strong currents in the sea were exaggerated during Tuesday due to the remains of the recent storm still circulating out to sea and the busier beaches.
Cruz Roja beach co-ordinator Jose Luis H. Oliva said: “The rescues were very complicated because they were groups of people; almost all parents with children and even entire families.” He explained that people take an over-relaxed attitude when they get to the beach. “When they arrive, all they see is people in the sea swimming and enjoying themselves. They don’t watch out for the flags.”
Mr Oliva insisted that beachgoers obey the warning flags at all times so as not to risk their lives and those of the lifeguards that need to enter the dangerous surf.