At this Spanish beach, you can get fined for peeing in the water

The question everyone is asking...
This mayor wants the sea to be clean
750 euro fine
In the sand... and in the water!
From Christmas to summer, Vigo in the news
International news
Free publicity for the city
How to catch offenders?
Minor offence
People are brainstorming with the mayor
The tell-tale liquid
Legend or reality?
Chemicals in the Atlantic? Better not
Incognito police chasing urinators
Who lives in Vigo under the sea?
The great victory of a mayor
The question everyone is asking...

Is it possible to fine people for urinating in the sea? You can pass legislation that penalizes such a practice, but the question on everyone's mind is: how do you catch the offender?

This mayor wants the sea to be clean

Abel Caballero, the mayor of the Galician (northern Spanish) town of Vigo, has introduced the new rule: it is forbidden to urinate in the ocean waters where the people of his municipality bathe.

750 euro fine

Local Vigo authorities have approved an ordinance that will make it possible to fine people 750 euros ($763 or 637 pounds) if they are caught urinating on the beaches of the municipality.

In the sand... and in the water!

The fines are both for urinating on the sand and in the water. That's right!

From Christmas to summer, Vigo in the news

Abel Caballero is an expert in putting his city on the map. Each year he spends a fortune on Christmas lights. They can even be seen from space. And now, in summer, his decree to keep the ocean waters clean of human waste is once again putting Vigo in the international headlines.

International news

From 'The Times' in Britain to 'Le Figaro' in France, everyone is talking about the curious ban on urinating in the sea.

Free publicity for the city

Abel Caballero's strategy could not be simpler and more effective: let them talk about Vigo. He has done it again.

How to catch offenders?

If we analyze the Municipal Ordinance, approved in May 2021, there's no indication whatsoever about how to catch offenders of the peeing ban.

Minor offence

The Ordinance sees urinating on the beach as a minor offense. That's why the fine isn't all too high. But still, an expensive leak!

People are brainstorming with the mayor

There's now an increasing conversation ongoing about how the matter might be approached by the police. There's a lot of imagination, myths, and inventiveness at play.

The tell-tale liquid

The first element that comes to mind is the legend of the urine tell-tale liquid. According to this theory, this liquid can cause a chemical reaction, drawing a red circle around whoever urinates in the water. It's an urban legend that Vigo knows well.

Legend or reality?

The red liquid is something everyone knows about in Spain, but no one has ever seen it. To locate red circles in the sea would be incredibly difficult, as the water is in constant movement. And in any case, who do we blame if the water is crowded with people?

Chemicals in the Atlantic? Better not

Opponents of this supposed experiment with red, tell-tale liquid, say it is not advisable to pour any type of chemical into the Atlantic Ocean. The beach needs to remain clean of all sorts of substances.

Incognito police chasing urinators

Another tactic that has circulated on social media, is to put incognito municipal agents among the bathers and have them scan the water for gusts of hot or warmer water, in order to expose an offender.

Who lives in Vigo under the sea?

For this ridiculous proposal, mayor Caballero could even hire SpongeBob and his companions to control underwater leaks.

The great victory of a mayor

Regardless of how he applies his inapplicable regulation, Abel Caballero has already won. Because now, whenever we think of Spanish beaches, Vigo comes to mind.

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