Mogán Mayor Bueno’s recent demands to relocate the Salvamento Marítimo’s base from Arguineguín port on the south of Gran Canaria has prompted a thoughtful response from Madrid, taking time to explain to her the rationale behind maintaining the current base location and addressing the concerns raised by Mayor Bueno.
Madrid emphasised its commitment to adhering to internationally agreed principles for rescue at sea, which prioritise the safety of both rescued individuals and the success of rescue missions. The selection of Arguineguín as a base aligns with these principles by providing the necessary infrastructure and resources to support various maritime incidents, which are not simply limited to migrant-related rescues.
Addressing Bueno’s concerns over the impact of the Salvamento Marítimo’s presence on local commerce and tourism, they acknowledge the importance of economic activities, but reiterate that the primary objective is to preserve human life and safety at sea. Shifting the base to another location could disrupt the operational efficiency of rescue missions, potentially compromising the agency’s ability to provide timely assistance to distressed vessels and individuals.
The mayor’s suggestion to relocate the base to Arinaga is also discussed in Madrid’s response. However, technical and meteorological challenges associated with Arinaga, such as its exposed position and adverse weather conditions, are highlighted as potential impediments to effective operations. The response underscores that the current base’s strategic positioning and operational advantages outweigh the proposed alternatives.
Madrid’s response clearly acknowledges Bueno’s concerns and demonstrates a professional willingness to engage in dialogue. The newly elected president of the Autoridad Portuaria de Las Palmas (port authority), Beatriz Calzada, is also expected to address the matter collaboratively. Madrid’s approach aims to find a balanced solution that respects local economic interests while upholding the imperative of ensuring efficient maritime rescue operations.
Madrid have emphasised the technical, operational, and humanitarian considerations that underpin the decision to maintain the Salvamento Marítimo base in Arguineguín, highlights the agency’s commitment to internationally accepted rescue principles and the paramount importance of preserving human life at sea. While recognising local economic concerns, Madrid’s response seeks a collaborative resolution that optimises both operational efficiency and local economic interests, ensuring the continued success of maritime rescue operations in the region.