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Canary Government acts to prevent tragedies in the sea 

The Canary Government has pledged to do all it can to reduce the number of drowning deaths in the sea.

The Ministry of Territorial Policy, Sustainability and Security has announced several measures as part of a new prevention and safety strategy.

Director General of Security and Emergencies, Nazaret Díaz said that although it was up to the individual municipalities to adopt measures on beaches and swimming areas, they had decided to intervene under the three pillars of “prevention, planning and intervention”.

According to information provided by the CECOES 1-1-2 Emergency and Security Coordinating Centre, in the first half of the year the number of deaths in the coast has decreased by 40 per cent.

“We are talking about the deceased, and not the drowned, because not all the people who die on the coast are drownings, and many times, after the autopsy, it is determined that the cause is another, such as, for example, previous health problems” clarified the general director.

From January to June 2017, 34 people died, while in the same period of 2018, 19 died.

“It is still a very high number and, therefore, it is important that all administrations, the tourism-business sector and citizens themselves strive to reduce these figures, ” he added.

New safety laws for the beaches and bathing areas of the Canary Islands are in the final phase of approval, pending the mandatory report of the Advisory Council – which must be issued before July 6th as the deadline – before going to the Governing Council for final approval.

All beaches and swimming areas will be classified according to risk which will then determine what protection measures are necessary.

“To date, a total of 445 beaches and maritime bathing areas have been visited, out of the total of 581 planned,” explained Néstor Padrón. “In addition, technical support is already being provided from the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies to the municipalities for the preparation of the Rescue Plans required by the new decree; 56 of the 77 coastal municipalities of the Canary Islands are already making use of this assistance. through the web platform www.info-playascanarias.es .”

Through social networks, like last year, the Save Lives Together campaign will be reactivated, directed not only to Spanish recipients, but also to foreigners, with messages in English and German. Last year, it had more than six million visits on Facebook, YouTube, Gmail and Insta-gram.