The head of the regional tourism board, Desidério Silva, wants the Algarve’s beaches monitored by lifeguards from the start of Spring onwards, not just from the start of the summer season.
Yesterday, the official bathing season opened for Albufeira’s beaches but Silva pointed out that there is 100% coverage across the region’s bathing beaches only from June 1st.
Silva wants his tourist region fully operational throughout the year, and called for "greater flexibility and more responsibility on the part of local authorities," which pay for the lifeguard service.
Albufeira already has extended its bathing season with certain of its bathing beaches manned from May 1st with the remainder of them opened yesterday.
The Algarve has 88 Blue Flag beaches this year, of which 25 are in the Albufeira municipality which caters for around 40% of the region's tourists.
The city’s mayor, Carlos Silva e Sousa said he has a responsibility to bathers and will do everything to keep them monitored and safe.
Four drownings over the early May public holiday did little to ease safety concerns, with Maritime Police and port authorities across the country urging caution that during Springtime, the sea can be especially dangerous.