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  • Joint Press Release by Beach Users and the ESG

    Calls to Close Western Beach
    30th November 2011

    ONE YEAR ON and NOTHING HAS CHANGED. This is the situation at Western Beach.

    “Actually, that statement is not true”, said Karen Everett of the Western Beach Group, “I can no longer call myself a Western Beach user as I have not used the beach for over a year. I cannot use the beach as I think the risk to health is just too dangerous”.

    In fact the situation has changed, it has got worse. Most of Gibraltar’s beaches have been affected by different levels of sewage contamination in the water over the summer.
    The Campaigners against sewage into the Western Beach area consider it necessary to remind the public that once again in the winter months the levels of contamination discharged into the beach substantially increases. The situation radically worsens when there is rainfall, and even a small amount of rain washes a great deal of RAW SEWAGE into the water. Yet another charity swim took off from Western Beach last weekend. This was on the same day that reports were received from residents in the area of terrible smells and the sight of a sewage sheen covering most of the western bay area.
    Campaigners call for the closure of this beach during the winter period until such time as all discharges are stopped or sealed off. The beach was closed last year due to the risk to public health and nothing has changed suggesting the beach should be closed this winter too.

    The groups also note that data continues to be scant on the Environmental Agency website and are certain that if more sampling was done the evidence will be all too clear. It is also important for Gibraltar to be collecting this data to help support the Official Complaint and Petition currently under review at the European Commission with support from Sir Graham Watson. “We need this data to help maintain pressure to try and get this cross border problem resolved,” said Karen.

    Both the Western Beach Group and the ESG call for the immediate closure of the beach believing it to be the only way to limit use of the waters during this period, when illnesses could be caused in our community.