By Anna Ellis •
Published: 24 Sep 2023 • 15:24
As the beach season draws to a close, the Red Cross has concluded its services at 229 locations across Spain. Image: Red Cross.
As the beach season draws to a close, the Red Cross has concluded its services at 229 locations across Spain.
Since the campaign’s launch in June, more than 39,000 individuals have received assistance from Red Cross first aid teams, stationed at 144 service points.
A dedicated team of 552 professionals played a pivotal role in this effort, including aquatic lifeguards (387), medical lifeguards (102), boat skippers (50), doctors, and nursing staff.
However, this year has seen a concerning rise in drowning incidents, with 302 reported deaths in Spanish aquatic areas during the first eight months of the year; an increase of 6.3 per cent compared to the previous year. Until July, this figure stood at a worrisome 12.66 per cent.
Notably, over 55 per cent of these incidents occurred on beaches. It’s important to note that, despite these challenges, the Red Cross’s beach services have managed to maintain their effectiveness compared to 2022, assisting 31,034 people in 2023, compared to 39,166 previously.
Of the total assistance provided, 127 involved rescues and aid to boats, while 1,159 incidents concerned individuals engaged in water sports.
Additionally, 843 individuals required transportation to hospitals, and 557 lost children were reunited with their families.
Beyond immediate care, Red Cross beach staff actively engage in raising awareness and providing preventive guidance to beachgoers.
This summer alone, they delivered more than 350,000 recommendations to prevent issues like heatstroke, digestion problems, injuries from marine animals, and more.
While most of their services involve responding to medical issues such as bites, sprains, and dislocations, the Red Cross also places a significant focus on environmental conservation.
They actively promote awareness among beachgoers and mobilise resources for plastic collection and beach cleaning.
Although the official summer campaign runs until September 15, the Red Cross continues to operate in many areas beyond this timeframe, particularly in locations with sustained tourism or high public footfall, like the Canary Islands, where their rescue services operate year-round.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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