The interior ministry has responded to trade union claims of a lifeguard shortage, saying it recognises the issue exists, but that it is working to solve the problem.

Their comments come after the Pasyek Peo union warned that beachgoers were in “immediate danger” on Tuesday.

They clarified that the shortages are mostly observed in three-month and four-month terms of seasonal lifeguard posts.

However, they say that the hiring process for more permanent lifeguard staff is underway with a focus on the Famagusta district.

They also say lifeguard coverage hours on beaches in the Larnaca, Famagusta and Limassol districts has already been extended by two hours per day, and that 45 lifeguard towers were erected during 2022.

In addition, the ministry pointed to the success of the “Salamis” national beach safety plan, which has been implemented across the country in 2022 and 2023. They say a total of 416 rescues have been carried out within the scope of the plan.