Three people lost their lives drowning in Tenerife’s waters last month (link), and today a 76-year-old swimmer is lucky to be alive after being pulled from the water in Los Cristianos shortly before 6pm. The man was resuscitated by lifeguards and transferred to Hospiten Sur where his condition is said to be serious.

Once again I’ll say, it’s summer, and right now a heatwave, so of course there will be more people than ever in the sea but even now our water temperature does not rise above 24º, and cold water shock affects people in water up to 25º. Swimmers, particularly the more vulnerable through age, illness, or incapacitated through something like alcohol, can get into difficulties within five minutes.

Just to be specific about symptoms when people are suffering from cold water shock. Normal body temperature is 37º. Shivering begins when the body temperature lowers to approximately 35.8º. Amnesia and coordination problems begin to set in at approximately 34º. Unconsciousness at 30º. And death, normally from cardiac arrest, at approximately 26º. And 26º is 2º 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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