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SOS Beaches reduces accidents on unsupervised beaches in Mafra municipality

Lisbon, 20 August 2007 – Mafra Municipal Council, the Portuguese Lifeguard Institution (ISN) and the Vodafone Portugal Foundation have launched the SOS Beaches Programme, which has been operating on beaches in Mafra municipality since June, building on the success of the pilot programme organised during the 2006 bathing season.

The aim of the SOS Beaches Programme is to provide all beachgoers and holidaymakers who use unsupervised beaches with the means to make immediate contact with the rescue services in the event of emergency.

The programme consists of the installation on beaches of a simple device, operated by solar energy, which provides direct mobile communication with the rescue services control room and activates the emergency service. The equipment is also an effective means of obtaining help in the case of children lost on the beach.

According to ISN, the SOS Beaches equipment has contributed to a significant reduction in accidents on unsupervised beaches in Mafra municipality during this year’s bathing season. Since June 2007, this innovative system has been used in around 40 emergency call-outs triggered by beachgoers.

With an estimated life of three years, the Programme involves a total investment of 30,000 euros and includes the donation of 16 emergency phones, replacement accessories kit, computer for administering and supervising the system, and training in the administration, supervision and operation of the systems, preventive maintenance services and all data and voice calls between the SOS posts and the control rooms.

The SOS Beaches Programme operates on the following beaches in Mafra municipality:

– Praia da Calada

– Praia de S. Lourenço

– Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas

– Praia do Sul

– Praia da Foz do Lizandro

– Praia Coxos

– Praia Algodio

– Praia Empa

– Praia do Matadouro

– Praia dos Pescadores

– Praia de S. Sebastião

– Praia de S. Julião