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Beach round-up 2016: 270 million enjoy the sea, 11 deaths, 62 children ‘lost and found’

As statistics go, Portugal’s beach-tally so far this year is definitely something to write home about.

The hot weather and record-high sea temperatures have seen an estimated 270 million people on the sands up and down the country, only 11 of which have tragically lost their lives as a result.~

And while last year, 203 children were ‘lost and found’ among the crowds – causing high levels of distress in the intervening time lapses – this year only 62 were temporarily separated from their families.

“People are much more careful with their children” a spokesperson for the ISN institute of help and shipwrecks, tells reporters. Awareness campaigns “are producing results”, he added.

As to how the calculation of 270 million people has been made, ISN’s Nuno Leitão explained it was extrapolated from the results of a sample.

The authority asked people how many times they went to the beach, when and in what circumstances (holidays or at the end of the day/ weekends) and then multiplied the results by the number of tourists.

“If we assume 12 million tourists, we can estimate 270 million visits to the beaches”, he added.

Deaths this year were up by four on incidences registered in 2015 (11 in total, seven people died on beaches without lifeguard support, and four on beaches where lifeguards were present) but Leitão explained this in relation to the fact that numbers generally are up in a year when many more holidaymakers were choosing Portugal, “as a result of the insecurity in Europe”.

With temperatures still affording perfect beach weather, meteorological authority IPMA guarantees that the situation is set to continue well into next week.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com