TWO beaches in northern Spain were closed for a time last weekend after over 40 swimmers suffered rashes and severe itching.
Health officials moved into the tourist spots at La Virgen del Mar in Santander and San Juan de la Canal in Santa Cruz de Bezana, both in the Cantabria region.
Bathers said that the painful skin condition had brought them out in hives and bites, and were treated on site by Cruz Roja staff.
Residents have told the media that it is not the first time that this has happened and that authorities have done nothing to stop the problem.
Locals have blamed a waste treatment plant at Santander and underwater pipes for pumping out slurry which has polluted the bathing waters.