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TWO SWIMMERS have been fined under a Costa Blanca resort’s bylaws for ignoring the warning ‘red flag’ and remaining in the sea
23 August 2016 @ 09:10

TWO SWIMMERS have been fined under a Costa Blanca resort’s bylaws for ignoring the warning ‘red flag’ and remaining in the sea.

It is believed to be the first time in Spain such penalties have been issued for an offence that risked lives – and came when sea conditions suddenly worsened.

The two bathers – each hit with a fine of 750€ - refused to leave the water at Javea’s Arenal Beach despite pleas from Red Cross lifeguards and later police officers.

Lifeguard towers fly a simple and internationally recognised ‘traffic light’ system of flags; a green flag means people can enjoy the water, yellow indicates people should take caution, and red signifies a prohibition on swimming.

The two visitors, once coaxed back to dry land, were told they had contravened ‘Article 139 of the Coexistence and Safety Bylaw’ – enabling the authorities to penalise people who disregard the flag warnings and instructions from police and lifeguards.

The incident happened in “difficult conditions” at the beach. Yellow flags were replaced with red as sea conditions worsened “significantly” – heavy waves and strong currents prompted the Red Cross team to act.

And a spokesman for Javea Town Hall said: “Despite the warning flags and constant announcements over the PA system to advise of the prohibition, many people continued to enter the water and several rescues had to be made to bring in swimmers who had got into great difficulty in trying to escape areas which had rip currents.

“To tackle the situation, police officers were called to intervene and arrest two swimmers who refused to follow the instructions of the lifeguards and entered the water risking their own lives as well as those of the rescue personnel and the police.”

Source: RTN

 

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