Albufeira Lifeguards
Photos: Rui Gregório/CM Albufeira

Albufeira announces year-round beach supervision

Albufeira says it is only municipality in country with year-round surveillance at beaches along town coast

Albufeira Municipal Council has announced that the three beaches located along the town’s coast will boast year-round supervision following a reworked protocol with the Albufeira Association of Lifeguards (ANSA).

A surveillance post manned by a lifeguard is due to be set up covering Praia do Peneco, Praia dos Pescadores and Praia dos Alemães all the way to the nearby breakwater.

Albufeira Mayor, José Carlos Rolo, has highlighted the “huge importance of the initiative, which will contribute to attract tourists all year long.”

According to the local council, Albufeira is the only municipality in Portugal to offer year-long supervision at beaches that are located along urban areas.

By ensuring that the beaches are safe to use outside the summer season, the municipality will allow holidaymakers to enjoy them 12 months a year, he added.

Cristiano Cabrita, the Deputy Mayor who pitched the idea, stressed that Albufeira has one of the longest bathing seasons in Portugal, running from May 15 to October 15.

We are aware that we have all the conditions needed to welcome tourists all year long and safety is one of the main reasons they choose to come here,” Cabrita said.

In order to handle this new responsibility, ANSA will hire three or four lifeguards to supervise the beaches as well as municipal pools.

As the municipal council points out, ANSA regularly works alongside the local council on several projects and conducts water rescue training events and lifeguard courses.

The local authority says ANSA is the only lifeguard association in the municipality registered with the Portuguese Lifeguards Federation, adding that its work “increases the safety of bathers, providing them with a free service” that helps “strengthen the image of Albufeira as a tourist destination of excellence.”

Apart from the new year-long beach supervision post, the council has also highlighted several other projects promoted by the association, such as “Safe Beaches 2023,” which allows it to extend its lifeguarding activities outside of the summer season.

The association has also helped implement an Assistance and Surveillance Plan at municipal pools, where it also ensures the “safety and surveillance of the plan.”

Facelift for Praia do Peneco lift

Albufeira Municipal Council is also investing over €66,000 to paint and revamp the Praia do Peneco lift.

Elevador Peneco

 

The 28-metre high lift was inaugurated in 2009 and can carry 13 people at once, making it much easier to access the beach, particularly for people with mobility issues.

The bulk of the works will involve painting the metallic structures that support the lift and replacing screws “and other accessories.”

Renovations are already underway and are due to be completed in February 2024, the council says.

“The Praia do Peneco lift is used by thousands of people throughout the year, which is why it deserves special attention. The lift provides magnificent views of the coast and provides a vibrant experience,” said José Carlos Rolo, Mayor of Albufeira.

The mayor added that this renovation project was a priority for the council following the unveiling of the new-look staircase near the lift and the conservation works on the cliffside.

“We didn’t want to leave (the lift) out, given that it is one of Albufeira’s most famous tourist images,” he said.

By Michael Bruxo

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