Orihuela Costa witnessed its first summer fatality on the waterfront as a 57-year-old British woman died at La Glea beach. Her husband raised the alarm after seeing that his wife could not get out of the water.
Rescuers tried to reach the woman, who was holidaying with her husband in San Pedro del Pinatar, but crews from the SAMU ambulance service were unable to save her.
A post-mortem will be carried out to determine whether she died from cardiac arrest or from drowning due to strong sea currents.
It is understood that the red flag was flying at the time of the accident, warning people against swimming.
Council authorities have offered their condolences to the family and urged bathers to remember the importance of respecting warning signs.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Torrevieja, there are concerns that bathers are being exposed to unnecessary risk.
The opposition PP party has furiously complained that the lifeguard service is unprepared and the warning flag system is not working, despite Mayor Jose Manuel Dolon claiming for several weeks that both will be ready “within days.”
Protection and surveillance cover has also come under fire with the Red Cross losing their contract, sparking an exodus of health workers and support staff.