The province of Alicante has registered 31 deaths in the water this year, 40% more than the whole of 2016 – Experts point to one of the major causes being the winter storms, which have created new networks of currents along much of the coastline.

However the Red Cross points to the attitude of many bathers who disobey the warning flags and instructions from lifeguards.

“There is a lack of awareness. People don’t see the dangers when they are in the water. This causes complacency,” said Hernandez Olivas, local head of the Red Cross, “in relation to bathers that go into the water when warning flags are flying. The most disobedient are the Russians and the Spaniards, although many of the other nationalities are not much better”

The Red Cross coordinator in Guardamar, José Luis Hernández Olivas, said that the maritime storms that we say during the winter “destroyed beaches that have not yet recovered their usual state, changing much of the underwater terrain.”