- Written by Irena Bodnarec
Levante beach is one of the reasons why many people choose to come to Benidorm on their holidays - understandable with its miles of golden sand. In the busy Summer months the beach is packed with holiday makers - sometimes its a struggle to find a square metre of sand to place your towel! Its shallow waters and gentle slope into the sea make it a favourite with families but a word of caution. Just 20 inches beyond the shoreline lies a mile long stretch of rock mass hidden beneath the water. It is known locally as "El llosar" - the rock.
Dangerous rocks on Levante shoreline
Every summer hundreds of swimmers are injured resulting in cuts, grazes and twisted ankles as their foot slips into a crevice. The rockiest part is at the Rincon end, near by McDonalds and the Cable Ski. From around the Daytona Bar, heading towards the Old Town it is clear and there are no rocks – alternatively, head to the Poniente beach which is totally rock free.
Poniente beach is rock free
The Town Hall are aware of the dangers and have tried on numerous occasions to remedy the situation. In 1994 they moved hundreds of metres of sand from the Poniente beach and covered the rocks but obviously over time the sand washed away. Then in 2008 they tried to break up the rock using a mechanical pick hammer, but after 3 days the locals were up in arms over the constant noise and environmental groups where raising concerns over the damage to the ecosystem. But the rocks protect the sand from being washed away over time - and that is why millions come here!After various consultations the Councillor for Environment & Beaches Pepe Marcet has announced that the Benidorm City Council will run an "information campaign to warn swimmers of the hidden dangers".
First Aid huts along Benidorm beaches
If you do happen to need first aid treatment then head to the candy stripped hut, one of which is located near to the "Heartbreak rock cafe/bar". It is manned all year round by staff who are contracted by the council - not volunteers such as Cruz Rojo. Out of season (Oct - April) it is open from 10am till 5pm and currently in peak Summer months from 9am until 8pm. There is a yellow ambulance parked just off the promenade for any emergencies which cannot be dealt with on site.
Yesterday the Mayor, Agustin Navarro paid a visit to the Socorristas that patrol the beaches to thank them for all their hard work. 20 lifeguards and 1 covering the coves of Tio Ximo and Almadrava patrol the 3 main beaches – Levante, Poniente and Mal Pas. A further 29 support those – 3 ambulance staff on stand-by, 5 in the strippy First Aid Huts, 6 on the floating pontoons, 9 aiding beach access, 2 on the lifeboats and 3 supervisory roles. Throughout 2013 they assisted 3351 people, which were injured on the beaches! Before going into the sea ensure that the green flag is flying.
The safest alternative is pop along to one of the many Chinese shops in town and purchase a pair of rubber soled swimming shoes which will protect your feet from scrapes and grazes and also stop you being bitten if you stand on something. They cost anything between 5 -10€ and certainly worth investing in rather than the alternative - spending hours at casualty.