An Open Letter to The Mayor of Orihuela Costa
The day before, I had witnessed 8 people – men, women and children – being rescued by different individuals, all strangers. They were all, thankfully, conscious when they were helped ashore; badly shaken, exhausted and within minutes of drowning, but mercifully still alive.
On both days, of course, ambulances eventually arrived along the smart costal path, lights flashing. They were either unaware of the correct access route or they had been unable to access the walkway because parked cars had, quite legitimately, blocked the unmarked entrance.
Policia Local and then the Guardia Civil hurried around, but were actually able to do very little. Some long minutes later, as the man on Friday lay motionless on the rocks, paramedics performed cardiac massage, applied their charged defibrillator whilst all the while, a swelling, sickening crowd of young and old looked morbidly on.
I cannot help wondering……. How you, Mr Orihuela Mayor, would respond , if you had been relaxing on Playa Bosque with your family, only to hear the distant but familiar cries for help from your desperate son, daughter, mother or father?
How would you feel, Mr Mayor, if, just as your relative was being swept onto the rocks by a shock, relentless, invisible current, you noticed, too late, a small, distant, rusty sign warning of Danger?
FOR THAT IS ALL THAT YOUR TOWNHALL HAS PROVIDED.
How would you feel, as bare-footed strangers tracked your inert relative, from the relative safety of the jagged rocks, totally unable to help and in fear of their own lives?
Yet they can all see the metal post, a mere 10 metres away from your desperate relative; it has been specifically designed with a large hook on which to hang an emergency lifebelt – but, for any of your unfortunate relatives, Mr Mayor, just as for the man on Friday and for the countless others, there is no salvation – for the lifebelt is missing and has been for many months.
I wonder, at that moment, whether, Mr Mayor, you might begin to feel any anger, frustration or even sickness building in the pit of your stomach as you visualised the penny-pinching official who decided that it was just too expensive to replace such life-saving devices between September and June? Or even provide a safety rope, attached from the shore to a buoy?
Might it have crossed your mind, Mr Mayor, that the administration really ought to accept some moral responsibility and to begin to exercise its duty of care to the Townhall’s visitors rather more seriously?
Or perhaps, you feel, here on Playa Bosque, things are not that bad?
After all, you have found sufficient Townhall funds to be able to afford a tractor-manicure of the beach every night; the income from the rental contract of the Beach Bars flows into your coffers from April until October.
And you have even funded rubbish collectors, who walk past the single empty lifebelt post every week, cleaning those parts that your tractor cannot reach; ironically, they even clean the same rocks over which that poor unconscious man was dragged; I doubt he appreciated it.
BUT NO LIFEBELT. NO DEFIBRILLATOR. NO BUOYANCY AID. NO SAFETY ROPE. NOTHING.
In fairness, on closer inspection, someone in the Townhall has had the foresight to install 2 emergency access signs. It is unfortunate that they are in the wrong place, as there is no access to the treacherous rocks from here. In fact, there is partial access only to the Lifeguard cabin, which remains locked and unattended between, I believe, the 10 months from September to July.
Well, Mr Mayor, I hope you and your family never do find yourselves on Playa Bosque, with one of your siblings on the point of drowning. I hope you never have to endure the sense of helplessness, or witness a relative or any other drowning human being raising an arm as a last, desperate plea for help, too exhausted, any longer, to cry out loud.
I wonder if there is any sense of collective moral culpability or even responsibility at your Townhall, Mr Mayor… and I wonder too, how many more tourists have to drown on Playa Bosque before you act…..
Still, at least your beach is clean!
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47624/
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