Beaches reopen as jellyfish alerts phased down

Staff from the Proteccion Civil will continue to monitor the shoreline and beaches for the presence of jellyfish

Torrevieja has withdrawn the swimming ban on the 2 km stretch of coastline in La Mata that was closed on 19 May following the discovery of about 20 specimens of the Portuguese Man o’ war jellyfish in the sea.

Municipal sources confirmed that this maritime strip of La Mata reopened to bathers on Tuesday morning  

On the remaining Torrevieja beaches the council has decided to retain yellow flag for the time being as a precaution, together with another specific flag indicating the possible presence of jellyfish. A spokesman said that the flags will remain whilst there is the absence of lifeguards but bathers who wish to enter the sea do so at their own risk.

Also in Torrevieja councillor for Beaches, Javier Manzanares, said they have now finished installing about 150 meters of access walkways on three beaches in La Mata, Los Náufragos, and El Acequión. The councillor said that “this is something we have been working on for weeks and on Wednesday today we have completed phase one prior to moving on to doing the same on other beaches. We consider the walkways very important for people with mobility problems and also to provide more comfortable access to our beaches for older people”.

On the Orihuela Costa the Councillor for Beaches, Luisa Boné, says that she does not want to create social alarm especially as a total of only 4 jellyfish have been found on La Caleta and Cala Capitán beaches.

A group of volunteers were the first to monitor the Orihuela Costa waters, joined last week by Civil Protection officers who have been conducting their own inspections both on the beaches and in the water.

Although the result has been negative, the yellow flag and the jellyfish pennant, spotted by one eagle eyed reader to be flying upside down on Campoamor beach, will continue to fly, until such time as the council receives new recommendations from the Ecological Coastal Institute.

Th jellyfish warning flag is upside down

Speaking once again about the lack of beach bars on the Orihuela Costa Ms Boné seems now to be a little more defensive in her statements. She says the Contracts department is working ‘against the clock’ to award the new contract but there could now be a problem meaning that there is a possibility that the administrative procedures might not be finished in time which could prevent the bars opening for the start of the holiday season.

Indeed on Thursday the contracts department recommended that the tender process should be suspended until certain anomalies, which they didn’t clarify, could be cleared up. They said that if the tender continues it could cause damage which would be extremely difficult to rectify.

However, the Popular Party (PP) and Citizens (Cs) declined the advice saying that it would mean further delaying the start-up of a service that has been inactive for over a month and a half, which would also generate more neighborhood criticism.

Perhaps she and her colleague, Cllr Saez in the contracts department, should have spent a little more time thinking the problems through prior to their hare-brained closure tactics in March.