Lalz Bay drowning highlights safety issues at tourist hotspots

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 5, 2018 07:20

Lalz Bay drowning highlights safety issues at tourist hotspots

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  • Witnesses said they called both the country’s emergency line and ambulance, but no one was available to pick up the phone in time and they had to bring the corpse on shore on their own.

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TIRANA, June 5 – The death of a 22-year old boy at Durres’ Lalz Bay on Saturday brought up again the issue of weak security measures undertaken by authorities during the summer in the country’s often overcrowded beaches and resorts.

Witnesses said they called both the country’s emergency line and ambulance, but no one was available to pick up the phone in time and they had to bring the corpse on shore on their own.

“The police was notified by people vacating there about an hour in advance but, except for a policeman that was in the area, noone came in time. We called 129 at around 12:10 am, but nobody would pick up the phone. We notified the firefighting unit and they notified the police but there was still no ambulance at the beach,” witnesses told local media.

On Tuesday, a 12-year old boy from Shkoza also drowned at the Farka Lake, while the corpse of another 20-year old that drowned nearby the Pellumbas Cave about two weeks ago was also found last week.

Although the events were unrelated, independent analysts have pointed out that the number of people drowning in Albania significantly increases in the summer, mainly due to lack of proper safety measures.

Last summer, the number of drownings reached a record high, as there was a prominent lack of lifeguards on the one hand, and no regulation on the distance speedboats should keep to not put swimmers’ lives in danger, on the other.

In the Lalz Bay case, witnesses also told local media there was a watchtower at the beach vicinity, however there was no lifeguard in it or in the area, despite government claims there would be a lifeguard for every kilometer at crowded beaches this summer.

“There was no ambulance either, and the victim was covered with towels by the people resting at the beach. The moment the policeman arrived, he told victims’ friends: ‘Couldn’t you get him out, how did you let him drown?’” a young witness at the scene said.

In the case of the 12-year old boy at the Farka lake, for whom his friends said knew how to swim, the cause of death so far is thought to have been moses at the end of the lake, where the victim’s leg was stuck.

All three locations – the Lalz Bay, the Farka Lake and the Pellumbas Cave – are popular destinations for both locals and the increasing number of tourists visiting Albania, and experts have stressed that measures to eradicate any possible accidents during the summer season should be made a priority for the government.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 5, 2018 07:20