Virtually every summer there are drownings in private community swimming pools across Alicante.
The unsettling reality is that, of the 7,000 private swimming pools in urbanisations across the Alicante region, only 140 employ the services of a lifeguard. Which equates to just one swimming pool in fifty. And in those 140 pools, hundreds of holidaymakers largely ignore community rules in respect of opening times. Many of the drownings occur “out of hours” when the pools are mostly unattended by trained staff.
Sadly, unless the situation changes and Community Presidents and their owners start putting the matter of safety before their own financial considerations, the situation will remain exactly as it is.
Administrators, community presidents and owners generally opt for lower costs, even by sacrificing their own security, however, in the case of an accident or a drowning, any saving made would be paltry in comparison to the liability that urbanisations could possibly face. When there is such an accident, the civil fines range between 300 and 30,000 euros, and much more if it results in a drowning.
The regional legislation on swimming pools indicates that it becomes necessary to employ a lifeguard in those pools with a capacity of 100 people. In Madrid, any urbanisation with more than 40 people. Calculated water space to be two square metres per person.
Lifeguards are essential to making summertime fun experiences safe and secure. But the sad reality is that financial considerations will always pay a large part in the decision of any urbanisation to employ a lifeguard.