The Safety Plan for Praia do Norte, in Nazaré has been activated, with about a dozen workers from the municipality and the entire staff of the Port Captaincy on hand to ensure the safety of surfers and the public as the famous big waves return.

The Security Plan jointly prepared by the municipality and the Captaincy of Nazaré, in the district of Leiria, intends to "guarantee the safety of all those who flock to Praia do Norte during the time of big waves".

With the objective of “minimising the risks and guaranteeing that everyone who enters the sea returns to the beach”, the Chamber has made available “about a dozen employees and several vehicles” which, according to the council president, will integrate a device joined by lifeguards, firefighters and “a doctor and a nurse who will be on the beach ready to act”.

Safety "for both the public and the surfers" is also, throughout the week, the priority of the Captaincy of the Port of Nazaré, whose commander, Zeferino Henriques, told Lusa that he will keep "all the troops" on alert.

"The great concern is the safety of people on the cliff" that flanks the accesses to Praia do Norte, underlined the captain who, "in view of adverse weather conditions", warns of "the danger of people coming to the site to see the giant waves, because on Wednesday (8 December) very dangerous and violent conditions are expected in terms of wind”.

Zeferino Henriques also guaranteed that the Maritime Police "will also be on site to enforce the rules in relation to the pandemic [Covid-19]", urging that those who still concentrate near to the lighthouse "to comply with social distance, the use of mask and hygiene care”.

In presenting the safety plan, the captain also appealed to the surfers present to communicate their intention to enter the water “72 hours in advance” and to inform them when they enter and leave the sea.

“It is very important to always know how many people have entered the water and how many are left”, he stressed, noting that, in the event of an accident, “there has to be an organised rescue plan to act quickly”.

Along with the means available at Praia do Norte, the City Council of Nazaré also made a mobile phone number and a radio channel available to surfers where they can contact in the event of an accident at sea.

The big wave season traditionally takes place in Nazaré between the end of November and the beginning of December, attracting national and foreign surfers and thousands of people who gather to watch the practice of 'tow-in surfing', a technique in which the surfer is towed into the waves by a jet ski.