The Curse of Condado beach: Lethal currents drown boy, 12, in latest tragedy
Condado Beach recently saw another tragedy. A 12-year-old boy was swept away by the strong ocean waves and drowned. Senator Henry Newman has slammed the central authorities for not appointing an adequate number of lifeguards to help prevent such incidents.
Newman pointed out that the Secretary of Natural Resources, Raphael Masharigo, had promised to hire more lifeguards for Condado Beach, known for its particularly strong currents that have caused multiple such accidents in the past. However, Newman, who is the Chairman of the Senate Security Committee, said that there have barely been any new recruitments and there are not enough lifeguards to keep the waters safe for swimmers.
“They promised me a year ago and nothing. I walk here every day and every day I ask. Here every day the boys working in setting chairs have to go out to save someone,” Newman said. Newman also stated that the only reason that no changes had been made is the lack of will. "What is the government cost for three life jackets that can be fitted from La Concha to the Marriott?" he asked. Newman also added that Condado was one of the “busiest beaches in Puerto Rico" and millions were spent to get people to visit but people were "constantly dying.”
Newman stressed that the lack of security on the beach is "unacceptable" given a large number of tourists it attracts, including minors. He also explained that lifeguards can serve by not only rescuing people but also prevent them from entering the dangerous waters. There are several signs spread across the beach in English and Spanish that say that the currents of the water are dangerous and it is not safe to enter the water. However, with the severe lack of surveillance and assistance, many people pay no heed to the signs and go for a swim anyway.
Newman has made it clear that he wants to see some action taken to level up the security on the beach to prevent other freak and avoidable accidents on the beach in the future.