Hundreds dying on Spanish beaches each year


OLDER men with cardiovascular problems are the key demographic running the risk of drowning off the Spanish coast, according to a concerning new report from the Real Spanish Federation of Lifesaving.

The organisation is running an ongoing campaign in multiple languages to help prevent tragic deaths at sea by spreading public awareness of the risks involved and how to avoid them.

Its latest figures indicate that 262 people have drowned in 2016 so far, with more than 400 having perished in 2015. 


Following the deaths of six people in just two days on Valencian beaches, the Federation has issued advice for bathers and swimmers with no desire to become another statistic. 

A key message is that nine out of ten deaths occurred in areas not patrolled by lifeguards, outside of blue flag beaches where surveillance is mandatory. There is also a call for enhanced public understanding that a red flag signifies danger, not merely nanny state advice against swimming. 

People are advised that heat, dehydration, and overexertion triggering sudden heart attacks or problems are the chief threat, not necessarily being overcome by the water itself. Many victims believe they can reach a distant buoy, only to suffer physical symptoms and be unable to swim or even tread water. 

All swimmers and especially those with pre-existing heart conditions are advised to check weather forecasts before hitting the beach and to visit blue flag areas on patrol days when possible. 

On an institutional level, the Federation notes that difficulties and confusion are caused by the lack of a uniform warning system across different municipalities, and calls for a nationwide campaign similar to those targeting road safety. 

Although a serious problem in all coastal regions, Torrevieja and Cartagena stand out as the municipalities with the most risk of drowning. 


  1. What a very tragic and very interesting report.
    Hundreds die in the sea.!!!!!!
    Yet the E.U. and Spain are insisting that ALL swimming pools are protected with a fence and lockable gates.
    Our community struggled long and hard to get the facts behind this latest money spinning scam without success. The best we got from the Junta was that it was strongly recommended. The local Ayuntamiento told us that alarming fines would be issued for anyone ignoring these transparent rules.
    I researched drownings in pools in Spain and found that it was less than 8 in 2014. The majority were teenagers under the influence. 3 were toddlers with no parents in attendance. All tragic and senseless.
    And yet small communities are forced to spend their fees on expensive fences to try an prevent these tragedies. My question at the time was just as ridiculous as the law… Why hasn’t the Law decreed that the sea is fenced off,? it is infinitely more dangerous than a pool. I also read in the statistics that 15 people died from falling from trees and another 15 from falling off cliffs. No fences required.!
    What of the roads.? thousands die! No fence required !
    The answer is obvious. The communities are an easy touch and the money comes from individuals who can be frightened into paying, by threats of enormous fines. Whereas all other cases it is the responsibility of politicians. Who often forget that the public money they collect is to spend on public works. Not on lining pockets.


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