Despite the heat, no intention to call back lifeguards

Interior Ministry says it does not plan on opening closed beaches or stationing lifeguards; several beaches across country still open, staffed.

By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
November 16, 2010 04:16
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv beach

tel aviv beach 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Thinking about playing hooky and hitting the beach while the weather stays hot? If it’s not raining yet, then the next best thing are ocean waves, right? Well, despite the 30º temperature on the coast, the Interior Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that there was no plan to open up more beaches and station lifeguards at them.

The bathing season ended at the beginning of October and doesn’t start again until right before Pessah.

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However, since stationing lifeguards and maintaining beaches is a matter for local authorities, some beaches remain open through the winter.

There are five open along the Tel Aviv coastline, if you’re looking to escape the skyscrapers and the air conditioning for a cool sea breeze and some wave jumping.

A little farther north, Netanya and Ashdod feature an open beach apiece. A little farther south, Rishon Lezion has one beach open with lifeguards.

And the Tamar region has all of its beaches, on the southwest shore of the Dead Sea, open this winter, too. Eilat also offers open beaches.



Open beaches mean that the municipality has stationed lifeguards for the swimming public.

This past year, 38 people drowned off the coast. Eighty percent of those took place off of a beach where swimming was prohibited or when the lifeguard was not present, according to Interior Ministry data – a clear indication of the importance of swimming in the sometimes turbulent Mediterranean within the view of a lifeguard.

Israel has 189 kilometers of beaches along the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. They are divided into three categories: Designated beaches, closed beaches and open beaches. About 18.7 km. are designated beaches. There are 135 km. of open beaches, 34 of which are the responsibility of the Nature and Parks Authority, and another 20 of which are under Defense Ministry jurisdiction.

In 2010, there were 135 designated beaches along the Mediterranean, Red, and Dead Seas as well as at Lake Kinneret.

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