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Ana Mula (2nd left) inspects one of the acoustic beacons on Las Gaviotas beach. SUR.
Fuengirola improves beach access for the blind and visually impaired

Fuengirola improves beach access for the blind and visually impaired

Beaches ·

From 1 June, Playa Las Gaviotas in Los Boliches will employ an acoustic system that will help those with visual disabilities navigate the shoreline

Tony Bryant

Fuengirola

Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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Fuengirola will increase the accessibility to its beaches by facilitating bathing for the blind with a new acoustic system that will be located on Playa de Las Gaviotas in Los Boliches. The project was announced on Monday (27 March) by the town’s mayor Ana Mula, who said that the new initiative will come into operation from 1 June.

The mayor described the audio system as a “comprehensive solution for the provision of maximum independence so that people with reduced vision can enjoy the beach and the sea”.

The system uses several elements to help the blind and visually impaired navigate the beach. The bathers will be given an electronic bracelet that will interact with beacons installed on the beach and in the sea, along with a 75-metre life-line to facilitate bathing in the sea.

The watch is equipped with a series of buttons that allow the user to activate information.
The watch is equipped with a series of buttons that allow the user to activate information. SUR

The wrist device is equipped with a series of buttons that allow the user to activate information about the distance from the promenade to the sea, informative messages and warnings broadcast from the beacons, and a button to request assistance.

The system will be operated by the rescue and lifeguard service and will be installed next to the area for people with reduced mobility. The reception totem is located at the entrance to the beach and welcomes the user on arrival. It also activates a signal to the lifeguards to alert them that a user has accessed the area.

“In recent years, Fuengirola has been characterised by being a municipality which is committed to working towards full accessibility and adaptation. We have been pioneers in the implementation of measures of this type, and today all our beaches have pedestrian crossings adapted for people with visual and hearing disabilities. However, we are not satisfied, so we are going to go one step further with an initiative designed specifically for blind people and the visually impaired,” Mula, explained.

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