A 76-year-old man died this afternoon on the Los Silos coast in north Tenerife after drowning in an inlet. He was rescued by Bomberos and paramedics, and transferred to Hospital del Norte, where sadly he was pronounced dead. Just under an hour later, a woman drowned in the Bajamar pools, again in north Tenerife, but despite the efforts of fellow bathers, paramedics, and medics from the Tejina surgery, she was in cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated.

It’s summer, and so of course there will be more people than ever in the sea here over the next few months. Even at this time of year, however, it’s not always obvious quite how cold the waters can be here. 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. Technically, therefore, it’s always “cold”, and bathers can get into difficulties within five minutes.

Just 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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