Summer of lost children

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BEACH authorities for the Alicante province are showing concern about the increasing number of children reported as or finding themselves lost.

To date, a total of 111 children reported as being lost on the beaches of Alicante city and 37 more in Javea, Santa Pola and Guardamar.

Much of the increase is believed to be due to the number of adults and others responsible for the children getting distracted by continually using their mobile devices.  A few moments looking at the screen rather than those under their care can often result in them losing sight of them.

Members of the local police, the lifeguards and Civil Protection officers have identified the children that are missing as invariably they’re crying and frightened.

José Miguel Jiménez, coordinator of those patrolling the largest Postiguet beach in Alicante said it’s no coincidence that the increase in people using mobile devices on the beaches has gone alongside more children getting lost.

As expected, August is the busiest month for such incidents and last year’s total figure of 103 children lost on the same beaches has already been exceeded.  If it carries on at this summer’s rate, the number is predicted to reach 125.

The usual age range for those getting lost is between 4 and 6-years-old, but there have been some cases where teenagers have been involved.  The oldest recorded this summer was a 15-year-old boy who was lost on the Playa San Juan.  He went diving with goggles and appeared three hours later in El Campello, some distance around the cove.

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