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Beach goers should ‘pay attention to warning signs’

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Beach goers have been criticised for continuing to visit areas where cliffs are in danger of collapse due to coastal erosion, despite the presence of warning signs.

A spokesman from the Algarve water authority (ARH) told the Algarve Resident: “Several risk areas on beaches in the Algarve were identified and several interventions through controlled demolition in potentially dangerous cliffs were carried out.

“However, people continue to risk their own lives and choose to ignore the restrictions when they should pay attention to warning signs. We cannot change people’s attitude unless we restrict full access to beaches at risk of rock falls. There are warning signs on all risky beaches placed before the start of the bathing season.”

The spokesman said that where there is a cliff, there is a risk and that beaches are safe if people respect the warnings.

“Beaches in Lagoa to Albufeira councils are the ones that have the highest risk, because the rocks are more fragile and more likely to break,” he added.

Portimão Maritime Police Commander Cruz Martins told the Algarve Resident:  “We work with the regional water authority, ARH, the local emergency services and Civil Protection to ensure the safety of beach goers and do all within our powers to minimise the risk of rock falls on beaches.”

Veloso Gomes, a professor at the University of Engineering in Porto and an expert in water resources management and environment, told Correio da Manhã newspaper: “Safety on the beaches must be the responsibility of all, particularly on beaches that are not monitored. People must avoid risky behaviour.

“We are doing everything we can to protect citizens but this is only possible with the cooperation and compliance of beach goers.”

He added: “The cliffs falling is a phenomenon impossible to predict. It’s something that can cause deaths, but authorities can only minimise the dangers by putting warning signals at dangerous sites during the bathing season.”