No more beaches to open despite warm weather

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

November 15, 2010 13:55
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv beach

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

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 30 degree average temperature, the Interior Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that there was no plan to open up any more beaches and station lifeguards at them. The bathing season ended at the beginning of October and doesn't start up again until right before Pesach.

Up and down the Mediterranean
Hot spot where it’s cool to be

However, since stationing lifeguards and maintaining beaches is a local authority matter, there are some beaches which remain open throughout the winter. There are five beaches 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. And the Tamar region has all of its beaches open this winter too.

A little farther south, Rishon Lezion has one beach open with lifeguards. And all the way south, Eilat also offers open beaches.

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

This past year, there were 38 drownings off the coast of Israel. Eighty percent of those took place off of a beach where swimming was prohibited or when the lifeguard was not present, according to 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 Sea. They are divided into three categories: Designated beaches, closed beaches and open beaches. About 18.7 kms 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 Lake Kinneret.

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