Cruz Roja Treated Thousands of Beachgoers Already

The lifeguards of the Cruz Roja have rescued a total of 114 bathers at risk of drowning, provided 2,850 medical interventions, and has evacuated 68 people to health centres so far this summer in the Valencian Community.

It must be noted that the Cruz Roja are not the only service providers on the beaches of the Costa Blanca and Valencia, only actually covering a relatively small number of areas, and so the overall figure is much higher.

From cuts from stepping on discarded rubbish, through insect bites or contact with jellyfish, to the spinal cord injuries that bathing in risky areas can cause, the risks are present in all beaches, even when there is a green flag, according to the Cruz Roja in a statement.

To avoid this type of situation, more than 1,000 Cruz Roja rescue professionals, including lifeguards, health personnel, drivers and boat personnel, ensure safe bathing on 220 beaches on the Peninsula and the islands.

In the Valencian Community, specifically, the Cruz Roja is present in the province of Alicante on the beaches of Guardamar del Segura and Xàbia and in the province of Valencia on the beaches of Bellreguard, Daimús, Gandía, Guardamar de la Safor, Miramar, Tavernes de Valldigna and Valencia.

Although most of the health care is related to bites, sprains or dislocations, the Cruz Roja also participates in locating missing people, a service that “may go unnoticed but is essential.”

So far this year, 82 boys and girls have been located who, due to carelessness at times when there are large numbers of people on the beaches, have gotten lost among the crowd of bathers, forcing their families or companions to ask for help from the lifeguard service to support their search.

The environmental component is also part of the Cruz Roja intervention on Spanish beaches. The awareness of the population and the mobilisation of resources for the collection of plastics and cleaning of beaches are other actions in the device.

In parallel, the beach personnel also carry out awareness-raising work with preventive messages and indications that the lifeguards give to the population on the sand. Only in this summer season there are more than 350,000 recommendations that are made to avoid heat stroke, cuts or injuries caused by marine animals, among other precautionary measures.

Regarding the Maritime Rescue programme, in the Valencian Community the Cruz Roja has six Maritime Rescue bases (Santa Pola, Torrevieja, Denia, Altea, Valencia and Castelló) with boats for responding to nautical emergencies and rescuing people on board boats. In 2022, this Cruz Roja program carried out 498 interventions.

The Cruz Roja advise caution at all times on the beaches but highlight the fact that when a red flag is flying you must not enter the water.

On many of the beaches of Spain, a new system of warning flags in in place. Introduced last year, and gaining momentum in 2023, the new flags are still green, yellow, and red, but also feature symbols to assist those with visual impairments, in particular those who cannot recognise colours.

Every beach which is available for public access has a notice board which details precautions and advice and is specific to the beach where it is located. These information boards should be located and read before entering the beach, so as you are aware of any specific characteristics or risks.