When bathers get careless, when the sea gets choppy, when disabled beach lovers need a little help, the lifeguards of Los Cristianos can be relied on to step in with a helping hand, reassuring advice, or ultimately life risking bravery. The socorristas of El Camison, Los Cristianos, and Las Vistas beaches now find themselves desperate for a lifeline after the company that employs them ran out of money leaving them unpaid for over three months.
The 18 lifeguards are on strike and drowning in a sea of debt with Arona council unable to offer any help. Three years ago Catalan company Sport & Salvament took over the contract after it was put out to tender by Arona council but now the money has dried up. Banners hang from the lifeguards station explaining their plight and even the flags indicating the state of the sea carry messages of desperation and frustration.
One of the guards explained “ we are all struggling and have rents and mortgages to pay, the council say they have more important areas where their help is needed. The only thing keeping us going is the kindness of the public who have been making donations to us. If people feel strongly about this they can call the council direct on 010 to give their view or sign a complaint in the Tourist Information Office.”
Los Cristianos beaches have a proud record of safety, and accessibility for all but the amphibian chairs for the disabled are not in use and the look out posts are empty as the strike drags on.
Latest – the lifeguards are now amending their banners to say “not paid for four months”