JAVEA will insist to the Ministry of Public Works that the Salvamento Maritimo helicopter remains in the Valencian Community.
The helicopter is essential for the area, maintained Javea’s mayor Jose Chulvi, citing the recent rescue of 22 people trapped in the En Calo cove which cannot be accessed by land.
The helicopter has also been called out on several occasions in recent months to rescue yachtsmen whose boats had foundered, Chulvi pointed out.
Since 2006 the Salvamento Maritimo helicopter has been based in Manises (Valencia), only 10 minutes away from the Javea coast, he continued.
The national government’s Ministry of Public Works is now planning to move the helicopter to Ibiza in January, on the grounds that there are more maritime emergencies there than on the mainland.
It will take 45 minutes to reach the Marina Alta, which could make a significant difference in some rescue operations, Chulvi said.
Javea’s coast has heavy maritime traffic, particularly during the summer months, with an inevitably high number of incidents, including the patera dinghies that leave clandestine motherships bringing in immigrants from North Africa.
In most of these cases the rapid arrival of the Salvamento Maritimo could be a matter of life or death, Chulvi warned.

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Shirin Aguiar