Manuel Miranda, the Canary Islands Government‘s Minister of Territorial Policy and Head of Emergencies, has announced plans to collaborate with local councils to draft new safety regulations for the islands’ beaches and bathing areas. This initiative follows a Supreme Court decision that declared the previous decree, which aimed to “regulate and harmonise bather safety” on the archipelago’s coasts, null and void.
Miranda emphasised the importance of civil protection, planning and prevention, self-protection, and communication during emergencies and natural disasters. He stressed the need for emergency management to be “upscaled with a better structure, increased material and human resources, and more effective technology”, as stated in a press release by the Canary Islands Government.
This announcement was made at the opening of the ‘The challenges in the prevention of drowning’ conference on Monday, organised by ‘Canarias, 1,500 km of Coast’ association, led by Sebastián Quintana, in collaboration with the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at the Elder Museum.
Miranda also acknowledged the efforts of Sebastián Quintana and ‘Canarias 1,500 km de Costa’ for their significant contributions to public affairs management and their role as a social benchmark in the field.
To advance the new regulations, Miranda had a meeting over a month ago with the president of the association promoting these conferences. This meeting is part of a series of discussions with town councils, groups, and stakeholders to create synergies, collaborative pathways, and consensus for drafting new bathing area safety regulations in the Canary Islands.
He noted that the Supreme Court has clarified that such regulations need to be enshrined in law and financially backed, and work is already underway in this direction.
Miranda has met with the FECAM and the Red Cross and plans to consult with technicians, professionals, associations, and companies in the rescue sector, affirming that “a solution to this problem” on the coasts will be sought.
The Minister also highlighted the importance of communication with local residents and tourists, stressing the need to “improve signage in bathing areas, provide more resources and better training for rescue teams”. He expressed a commitment to enhancing emergency management.
The Directorate General of Emergencies has started communicating and disseminating pre-warnings for coastal phenomena during rough seas. Plans include launching a new application with comprehensive safety information about the beaches – infoplayas -, continuing the installation of life-saving devices in bathing areas, and designing a new communication and awareness strategy to promote a culture of self-protection.
The Deputy Minister for Territorial Cohesion, Marcos Lorenzo, and the head of the Civil Protection and Emergencies Service, Montse Román, also participated in two roundtable discussions.