The lack of lifeguards is forcing 22 beach concessions in the south of the country to remain closed, increasing the risk of drowning, warned the Portuguese Federation of Lifeguards (FEPONS).

In a statement, FEPONS indicated that in the South, where the bathing season has already begun on most beaches, “there is an average of 45% of lifeguards to be hired”, while in the North the average is 52% and in the Centre of 44%, and in these areas most of the beaches “are not yet in the bathing season”.

According to FEPONS, in the south of the country there are 22 beach concessions that, “although already in the bathing season, were forced to remain closed due to the lack of lifeguards, which increases the risk of drowning”, reads the note.

According to the federation, so far, the State “has never legislated incentives for the lifeguard profession”, although this is provided for in the law, “which would increase interest in the profession, especially among students, who are the vast majority of professionals”.