Lifeguard service in Catalonia

Lifeguard service in Catalonia


08.02.2021

Legal requirements

In Catalonia, the responsibility for the safety of beach users rests with the Town Councils. Currently there is no law that establishes a minimum amount of human or material resources that must be assigned to the beaches and the local authorities allocate more or less resources without clear indicators. Generally, the media are distributed by the beaches based on empirical knowledge and depending on the economic capacity of the council, all, some or none of the beaches are monitored. (some beaches don't have lifeguards).

How many beaches are there in Catalonia?

Catalonia has almost 700 km of beaches spread over 69 municipalities that have a coastline. In total, according to the Ministry for the ecological transition and the demographic challenge (MITECO), there are 431 counted beaches in Catalonia from Llança on the border with France to Alcanar on the border with the Valencian Community.

Lifeguard certification

In Catalonia, in order to work as a lifeguard on beaches, you must complete a training course that includes 4 training modules and a total of 370 hours, which depending on the complementary training can reach up to 380.

1. Swimming module (120 hours).

    • Basic skills and abilities in the aquatic environment (40 hours).
    • Specific swimming techniques in the aquatic environment (80 hours).

2. Prevention of accidents in aquatic facilities module (40 hours).

3. Rescue of accident victims in aquatic facilities module (90 hours).

4. First aid module (40 hours).

In addition, the future lifeguards, once the 4 modules have been completed, must carry out 80 hours of professional non-work lifeguard practices in aquatic facilities or beaches. In order to access the course, you must be in possession of the Compulsory Secondary Education certificate (or equivalent)

Who runs the service?

The vast majority of the services of the 69 municipalities are provided by private companies that are contracted by the administration through public tenders. There are some City Councils that do not provide lifeguard services. One of this municipalities carries out the lifeguard services by itself, and others by the Red Cross.