There is insufficient lifeguard coverage on Cypriot beaches, labour union Pasyek Peo warned on Tuesday.

As the summer season reaches its peak and visitors from both home and abroad flock to the island’s beaches, the union said many are understaffed by lifeguards, while some have no lifeguards present at all.

The union added that lifeguard towers remain closed on a total of 18 beaches across Cyprus, eight of which are in the Famagusta district, seven in the Limassol district, and three in the Larnaca district.

On other beaches, they said, there is only a single lifeguard who is responsible for the whole beach. This puts the lives of both beachgoers and lifeguards in “immediate danger”.

In addition, the union said “there are beaches without a lifeguard tower as well as several towers which are unsuitable, non-functional and do not provide the necessary protection for lifeguards’ health”.

They say the aforementioned working conditions result in a lack of interest in the lifeguard profession, which creates the current situation of understaffing.

The union called on the interior ministry to enter discussions to solve the problem, saying “the need to re-discuss comprehensively and in-depth all the issues that concern the lifeguard sector is now imperative”.

They added that the ministry should “immediately take all the required actions so that all the beaches that are currently without the necessary lifeguard coverage are fully and adequately staffed”.