A 68-year-old man drowned today in Garachico. Emergency services were called out just past 6pm with reports that the man had been seen floating in the sea and was pulled unconscious from the water near the natural sea pools. A doctor and nurse from the local surgery, with paramedics, confirmed that he was in cardiac arrest and all tried to save him, but their resuscitation efforts were to no avail and he was declared dead at the scene.

I’m not remotely sorry to bore with the following. Cardiac arrest in the sea is a symptom of cold water shock. Yet again I’ll say that regardless of time of year, even at high summer, Tenerife’s waters are technically cold. Cold water shock can affect people even with water temperature of up to 25º, it’s not just freezing water that is dangerous, and the water around the Canaries’ doesn’t get above 24°C (75°F) even in August. Bathers can get into difficulties within five minutes.

To be specific about symptoms, normal body temperature is 98.6º; shivering begins when the body temperature lowers to approximately 96.5º; amnesia and coordination problems begin to set in at approximately 94º, unconsciousness at 86º, and death, normally from cardiac arrest, at approximately 79º … and 79º is 4º above our normal high season water temperatures! Please read my page HERE for information on all this and for recommendations on how to stay safe in waters around Tenerife.

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