ULTRA-MODERN mechanisms at Malaga’s El Dedo and La Misericordia beaches are helping the blind to swim safely.
Resembling wristwatches and equipped with a sound system connected to beacon-buoys, they advise sea-bathers with sight problems of the water’s depth when they are swimming.
The wristbands also incorporate an alarm that warns lifeguards posted on both beaches when swimmers needed help, said Lucas Duhour, Lifesaving Coordinator for Malaga’s beaches.
As well as being adapted to the needs of the visually-impaired, El Dedo and La Misericordia beaches also boast amphibious chairs for the disabled as well as personnel specially trained to assist them.
Those with sight or mobility problems tended to visit the two beaches on weekdays rather than the weekend, said Duhour, no doubt because they preferred to avoid the weekend crowds.
But on weekdays and weekends alike from June 15 until September 15, four lifeguards are on hand at the beaches each day from 11am until 8pm to assist swimmers.
The system at El Dedo and La Misericordia beaches was initially in August 2010 and used by 230 people but this was the first time it had been available throughout the summer, said Margarita Romero, the councillor responsible for Malaga’s beaches.
The Ayuntamiento planned to introduce more zones for blind swimmers, said Romero, who pointed out that Malaga’s were the only beaches in Andalucia that had possessed a Universal Accessibility certificate since 2006.